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PLoS One. 2013 Sep 23;8(9):e75150. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0075150. eCollection 2013.

The IRAK homolog Pelle is the functional counterpart of IκB kinase in the Drosophila Toll pathway.

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Section of Cell and Developmental Biology, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, California, United States of America.


Toll receptors transduce signals that activate Rel-family transcription factors, such as NF-κB, by directing proteolytic degradation of inhibitor proteins. In mammals, the IκB Kinase (IKK) phosphorylates the inhibitor IκBα. A βTrCP protein binds to phosphorylated IκBα, triggering ubiquitination and proteasome mediated degradation. In Drosophila, Toll signaling directs Cactus degradation via a sequence motif that is highly similar to that in IκBα, but without involvement of IKK. Here we show that Pelle, the homolog of a mammalian regulator of IKK, acts as a Cactus kinase. We further find that the fly βTrCP protein Slimb is required in cultured cells to mediate Cactus degradation. These findings enable us for the first time to trace an uninterrupted pathway from the cell surface to the nucleus for Drosophila Toll signaling.

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