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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

TNF receptor (TNFR)- associated factor (TRAF) 3 serves as an inhibitor of TRAF2/5-mediated activation of the noncanonical NF-kappaB pathway by TRAF-binding TNFRs.

TNF family members and their receptors contribute to increased gene expression for inflammatory processes and intracellular cascades leading to programmed cell death, both via activation of NF-kappaB. TNF receptor (TNFR)-associated factors (TRAFs) are cytoplasmic adaptor proteins binding to various receptors of the TNFR family. In an attempt to delineate the role of individual TRAFs, we compared NF-kappaB activation by CD40(wt) and CD40 mutants with different TRAF recruitment patterns. Recognized only recently, NF-kappaB signaling occurs at least via two different pathways. Each pathway results in nuclear translocation of two different Reldimers, the canonical p50/RelA and the noncanonical p52/RelB. Here, we show that via TRAF6, CD40 mediates only the activation of the canonical NF-kappaB pathway. Via TRAF2/5, CD40 activates both the canonical and the noncanonical NF-kappaB pathways. We observed that TRAF3 specifically blocked the NF-kappaB activation via TRAF2/5. This inhibitory effect of TRAF3 depends on the presence of an intact zinc finger domain. Paradoxically, suppression of TRAF2/5- mediated NF-kappaB activation by TRAF3 resulted in enhanced transcriptional activity of TRAF6- mediated canonical NF-kappaB emanating from CD40. We also observed that 12 TNFR family members (p75TNFR, LTbetaR, RANK, HVEM, CD40, CD30, CD27, 4-1BB, GITR, BCMA, OX40, and TACI) are each capable of activating the alternative NF-kappaB pathway and conclude that TRAF3 serves as a negative regulator of this pathway for all tested receptors.[1]


  1. TNF receptor (TNFR)-associated factor (TRAF) 3 serves as an inhibitor of TRAF2/5-mediated activation of the noncanonical NF-kappaB pathway by TRAF-binding TNFRs. Hauer, J., Püschner, S., Ramakrishnan, P., Simon, U., Bongers, M., Federle, C., Engelmann, H. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (2005) [Pubmed]
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