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Oncogene. 2014 May 8;33(19):2520-30. doi: 10.1038/onc.2013.195. Epub 2013 Jun 17.

The API2-MALT1 fusion exploits TNFR pathway-associated RIP1 ubiquitination to promote oncogenic NF-κB signaling.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics and Communicable Diseases, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.
  • 2Department of Pathology, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.
  • 3Division of Molecular Histopathology, Department of Pathology, University of Cambridge, Laboratory Block, Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, UK.
  • 4Immunology Institute, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY, USA.
  • 51] Human Genome Laboratory, Molecular Genetics, Center for Human Genetics, Catholic University Leuven, Leuven, Belgium [2] Human Genome Laboratory, Department of Molecular and Developmental Genetics, Flanders Institute for Biotechnology (VIB), Leuven, Belgium.


The API2-MALT1 fusion oncoprotein is created by the recurrent t(11;18)(q21;q21) chromosomal translocation in mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphoma. We identified receptor interacting protein-1 (RIP1) as a novel API2-MALT1-associated protein, and demonstrate that RIP1 is required for API2-MALT1 to stimulate canonical nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB). API2-MALT1 promotes ubiquitination of RIP1 at lysine (K) 377, which is necessary for full NF-κB activation. Furthermore, we found that TNF receptor-associated factor 2 (TRAF2) recruitment is required for API2-MALT1 to induce RIP1 ubiquitination, NF-κB activation and cellular transformation. Although both TRAF2 and RIP1 interact with the API2 moiety of API2-MALT1, this moiety alone is insufficient to induce RIP1 ubiquitination or activate NF-κB, indicating that API2-MALT1-dependent RIP1 ubiquitination represents a gain of function requiring the concerted actions of both the API2 and MALT1 moieties of the fusion. Intriguingly, constitutive RIP1 ubiquitination was recently demonstrated in several solid tumors, and now our study implicates RIP1 ubiquitination as a critical component of API2-MALT1-dependent lymphomagenesis.

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