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TLR4 recruits TRIF-related adaptor molecule (TRAM, also known as TICAM2) as a sorting adaptor to facilitate the interaction between TLR4 and TRIF and then initiate TRIF-dependent IRF3 activation. However, the mechanisms by which TRAM links downstream molecules are not fully elucidated. In this study, we show that TRAM undergoes tyrosine phosphorylation upon TLR4 activation and that is required for TLR4-induced IRF3 activation. Protein tyrosine phosphatase nonreceptor type 4 (PTPN4), a protein tyrosine phosphatase, inhibits tyrosine phosphorylation and subsequent cytoplasm translocation of TRAM, resulting in the disturbance of TRAM-TRIF interaction. Consequently, PTPN4 specifically inhibits TRIF-dependent IRF3 activation and IFN-β production in TLR4 pathway. Therefore, our results provide new insight into the TLR4 pathway and identify PTPN4 as a specific inhibitor of TRIF-dependent TLR4 pathway. Targeting PTPN4 would be beneficial for the development of new strategy to control TLR4-associated diseases without unwanted side effects. Copyright © 2015 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc.


Wanwan Huai, Hui Song, Lijuan Wang, Bingqing Li, Jing Zhao, Lihui Han, Chengjiang Gao, Guosheng Jiang, Lining Zhang, Wei Zhao. Phosphatase PTPN4 preferentially inhibits TRIF-dependent TLR4 pathway by dephosphorylating TRAM. Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950). 2015 May 1;194(9):4458-65

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PMID: 25825441

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