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EMBO J. 2008 Aug 6;27(15):2135-46. doi: 10.1038/emboj.2008.126. Epub 2008 Jun 26.

The DEAD-box helicase DDX3X is a critical component of the TANK-binding kinase 1-dependent innate immune response.

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Department of Infection Biology, Max F Perutz Laboratories, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.


TANK-binding kinase 1 (TBK1) is of central importance for the induction of type-I interferon (IFN) in response to pathogens. We identified the DEAD-box helicase DDX3X as an interaction partner of TBK1. TBK1 and DDX3X acted synergistically in their ability to stimulate the IFN promoter, whereas RNAi-mediated reduction of DDX3X expression led to an impairment of IFN production. Chromatin immunoprecipitation indicated that DDX3X is recruited to the IFN promoter upon infection with Listeria monocytogenes, suggesting a transcriptional mechanism of action. DDX3X was found to be a TBK1 substrate in vitro and in vivo. Phosphorylation-deficient mutants of DDX3X failed to synergize with TBK1 in their ability to stimulate the IFN promoter. Overall, our data imply that DDX3X is a critical effector of TBK1 that is necessary for type I IFN induction.

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