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J Biol Chem. 1997 Aug 8;272(32):19777-84.

Localization of the major NF-kappaB-activating site and the sole TRAF3 binding site of LMP-1 defines two distinct signaling motifs.

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Department of Pathology, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts 02111, USA.


The TRAF3 molecule interacts with the cytoplasmic carboxyl terminus (COOH terminus) of the Epstein-Barr virus-encoded oncogene LMP-1. NF-kappaB activation is a downstream signaling event of tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated factor (TRAF) molecules in other signaling systems (CD40 for example) and is an event caused by LMP-1 expression. One region capable of TRAF3 interaction in LMP-1 is the membrane-proximal 45 amino acids (188-242) of the COOH terminus. We show that this region contains the only site for binding of TRAF3 in the 200-amino acid COOH terminus of LMP-1. The site also binds TRAF2 and TRAF5, but not TRAF6. TRAF3 binds to critical residues localized between amino acids 196 and 212 (HHDDSLPHPQQATDDSG), including the PXQX(T/S) motif, that share limited identity to the CD40 receptor TRAF binding site (TAAPVQETL). Mutation of critical residues in the TRAF3 binding site of LMP-1 that prevents binding of TRAF2, TRAF3, and TRAF5 does not affect NF-kappaB-activating potential. Deletion mapping localized the major NF-kappaB activating region of LMP-1 to critical residues in the distal 4 amino acids of the COOH terminus (383-386). Therefore, TRAF3 binding and NF-kappaB activation occur through two separate motifs at opposite ends of the LMP-1 COOH-terminal sequence.

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