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J Biol Chem. 2006 Jan 27;281(4):2162-9. Epub 2005 Nov 8.

The C-terminal activating region 2 of the Epstein-Barr virus-encoded latent membrane protein 1 activates NF-kappaB through TRAF6 and TAK1.

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Department of Biochemistry, Hong Kong University of Science & Technology, Clearwater Bay, Kowloon, Hong Kong, China.


Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-encoded latent membrane protein 1 (LMP1) is oncogenic and indispensable for EBV-mediated B cell transformation. LMP1 is capable of activating several intracellular signaling pathways including the NF-kappaB pathway, which contributes to the EBV-mediated cell transformation. Two regions in the cytoplasmic carboxyl tail of LMP1, namely C-terminal activating regions 1 and 2 (CTAR1 and CTAR2), are responsible for NF-kappaB activation, with CTAR2 being the main NF-kappaB activator. Although the CTAR1-mediated NF-kappaB activation was previously shown to be TRAF3-dependent, we showed here that the CTAR2-mediated NF-kappaB activation is mainly TRAF6-dependent but TRAF2/5-independent. In contrast to the interleukin-1 receptor/toll-like receptor-mediated NF-kappaB pathways, the CTAR2-mediated NF-kappaB pathway does not require MyD88, IRAK1, or IRAK4 for TRAF6 engagement. Furthermore, we showed that TAK1 is required for NF-kappaB activation by LMP1. Thus, LMP1 utilizes two distinct pathways to activate NF-kappaB: a major one through CTAR2/TRAF6/TAK1/IKKbeta (canonical pathway) and a minor one through CTAR1/TRAF3/NIK/IKKalpha (noncanonical pathway).

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