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J Biol Chem. 2010 Jun 11;285(24):18276-82. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M109.098137. Epub 2010 Apr 16.

IRAK1 and IRAK4 promote phosphorylation, ubiquitination, and degradation of MyD88 adaptor-like (Mal).

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School of Biochemistry and Immunology, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin 2, Ireland.


Signal transduction by Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2) and TLR4 requires the adaptors MyD88 and Mal (MyD88 adaptor-like) and serine/threonine kinases, interleukin-1 receptor-associated kinases IRAK1 and IRAK4. We have found that both IRAK1 and IRAK4 can directly phosphorylate Mal. In addition, co-expression of Mal with either IRAK resulted in depletion of Mal from cell lysates. This is likely to be due to Mal phosphorylation by the IRAKs because kinase-inactive forms of either IRAK had no effect. Furthermore, lipopolysaccharide stimulation resulted in ubiquitination and degradation of Mal, which was inhibited using an IRAK1/4 inhibitor or by knocking down expression of IRAK1 and IRAK4. MyD88 is not a substrate for either IRAK and did not undergo degradation. We therefore conclude that Mal is a substrate for IRAK1 and IRAK4 with phosphorylation promoting ubiquitination and degradation of Mal. This process may serve to negatively regulate signaling by TLR2 and TLR4.

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