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Eur J Immunol. 2010 Jun;40(6):1738-47. doi: 10.1002/eji.200940034.

SARM inhibits both TRIF- and MyD88-mediated AP-1 activation.

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Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore, Singapore.


SARM (sterile alpha- and armadillo-motif-containing protein), the fifth identified TIR (Toll-interleukin 1 receptor (IL-1R)) domain-containing adaptors in humans, downregulates NF-kappaB and IRF3 (interferon-regulatory factor 3)-mediated TLR3 and TLR4 signaling. SARM was characterized as a negative regulator of the TRIF (TIR-domain-containing adaptor protein inducing IFN-beta)-dependent pathway via its interaction with TRIF. However, the precise mechanism of action of SARM remains unclear. Here, we demonstrate that SARM inhibits MAPK activation in human embryonic kidney 293 cells, and U937 cells. Both the TRIF- and MyD88-mediated, as well as basal MAPK activity, were repressed, indicating that SARM-mediated inhibition may not be exclusively directed at TRIF or MyD88, but that SARM may also directly inhibit MAPK phosphorylation. The MAPK inhibition effect was verified by RNAi, which increased the basal level of AP-1. Furthermore, LPS challenge upregulated SARM at both the mRNA and protein levels. Finally, we provide evidence to show that truncated SARM changes its subcellular localization, suggesting the importance of the N-terminal and sterile alpha motif domains in the autoregulation of SARM activity.

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