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J Biol Chem. 2011 Mar 11;286(10):7905-16. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M110.182873. Epub 2011 Jan 10.

Endotoxin tolerance impairs IL-1 receptor-associated kinase (IRAK) 4 and TGF-beta-activated kinase 1 activation, K63-linked polyubiquitination and assembly of IRAK1, TNF receptor-associated factor 6, and IkappaB kinase gamma and increases A20 expression.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland 21201, USA.


Endotoxin tolerance reprograms Toll-like receptor 4 responses by impairing LPS-elicited production of pro-inflammatory cytokines without inhibiting expression of anti-inflammatory or anti-microbial mediators. In septic patients, Toll-like receptor tolerance is thought to underlie decreased pro-inflammatory cytokine expression in response to LPS and increased incidence of microbial infections. The impact of endotoxin tolerance on recruitment, post-translational modifications and signalosome assembly of IL-1 receptor-associated kinase (IRAK) 4, IRAK1, TNF receptor-associated factor (TRAF) 6, TGF-β-activated kinase (TAK) 1, and IκB kinase (IKK) γ is largely unknown. We report that endotoxin tolerization of THP1 cells and human monocytes impairs LPS-mediated receptor recruitment and activation of IRAK4, ablates K63-linked polyubiquitination of IRAK1 and TRAF6, compromises assembly of IRAK1-TRAF6 and IRAK1-IKKγ platforms, and inhibits TAK1 activation. Deficiencies in these signaling events in LPS-tolerant cells coincided with increased expression of A20, an essential deubiquitination enzyme, and sustained A20-IRAK1 associations. Overexpression of A20 inhibited LPS-induced activation of NF-κB and ablated NF-κB reporter activation driven by ectopic expression of MyD88, IRAK1, IRAK2, TRAF6, and TAK1/TAB1, while not affecting the responses induced by IKKβ and p65. A20 shRNA knockdown abolished LPS tolerization of THP1 cells, mechanistically linking A20 and endotoxin tolerance. Thus, deficient LPS-induced activation of IRAK4 and TAK1, K63-linked polyubiquitination of IRAK1 and TRAF6, and disrupted IRAK1-TRAF6 and IRAK1-IKKγ assembly associated with increased A20 expression and A20-IRAK1 interactions are new determinants of endotoxin tolerance.

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