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Mol Cell Biol. 2009 Jun;29(12):3401-12. doi: 10.1128/MCB.00880-08. Epub 2009 Apr 20.

Ubiquitin-regulated recruitment of IkappaB kinase epsilon to the MAVS interferon signaling adapter.

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Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research, Jewish General Hospital, 3755 Cote Ste. Catherine, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3T 1E2.


Induction of the antiviral interferon response is initiated upon recognition of viral RNA structures by the RIG-I or Mda-5 DEX(D/H) helicases. A complex signaling cascade then converges at the mitochondrial adapter MAVS, culminating in the activation of the IRF and NF-kappaB transcription factors and the induction of interferon gene expression. We have previously shown that MAVS recruits IkappaB kinase epsilon (IKKepsilon) but not TBK-1 to the mitochondria following viral infection. Here we map the interaction of MAVS and IKKepsilon to the C-terminal region of MAVS and demonstrate that this interaction is ubiquitin dependent. MAVS is ubiquitinated following Sendai virus infection, and K63-linked ubiquitination of lysine 500 (K500) of MAVS mediates recruitment of IKKepsilon to the mitochondria. Real-time PCR analysis reveals that a K500R mutant of MAVS increases the mRNA level of several interferon-stimulated genes and correlates with increased NF-kappaB activation. Thus, recruitment of IKKepsilon to the mitochondria upon MAVS K500 ubiquitination plays a modulatory role in the cascade leading to NF-kappaB activation and expression of inflammatory and antiviral genes. These results provide further support for the differential role of IKKepsilon and TBK-1 in the RIG-I/Mda5 pathway.

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