JNK-binding protein 1 regulates NF-κB activation through TRAF2 and TAK1


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The mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) cascades, including c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), are composed of a MAPK, MAPK kinase (MAPKK), and MAPKK kinase (MAPKKK). Previously, we reported that JNK-binding protein 1 (JNKBP1) enhances JNK activation induced by the TGF-β-activated kinase1 (TAK1) MAPKKK in transfected cells. We have investigated whether JNKBP1 functions as an adaptor protein for nuclear factor (NF)-κB activation mediated by TAK1 in COS-7 cells. Co-expression experiments showed that JNKBP1 interacted with not only TAK1, but also with its upstream regulators, TNF-receptor associated factors 2 and 6 (TRAF2 and TRAF6). An endogenous interaction between JNKBP1 and TRAF2 or TAK1 was confirmed by immunoprecipitation analysis. We also found that JNKBP1 could enhance the NF-κB activation induced by TAK1 and TRAF2, and could promote TRAF2 polyubiquitination. These results suggest a scaffolding role for JNKBP1 in the TRAF2–TAK1–NF-κB signaling pathway.