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TLR4 triggers LPS signaling through the adaptors Toll/IL-1R domain-containing adaptor molecule (TICAM)-2 (also called TRAM) and TICAM-1 (also called TRIF), together with Toll/IL-1R domain-containing adaptor protein (TIRAP) and MyD88. The MyD88 pathway mediates early phase responses to LPS on the plasma membrane, whereas the TICAM pathway mediates late-phase responses, which induce the production of type I IFN and activation of inflammasomes. TICAM-2 bridges TLR4 and TICAM-1 for LPS signaling in the endosome. Recently, we identified an acidic motif, E87/D88/D89 in TICAM-2, that provides the interaction surfaces between TICAM-2 and TICAM-1. In the present study, we found additional D91/E92 in TICAM-2, conserved across species, that is crucial for TICAM-1 activation. The D91A/E92A mutant protein was distributed largely to the cytosol, despite myristoylation, suggesting its importance for assistance of membrane localization of TICAM-2. An ectopically expressed D91A/E92A mutant per se failed to activate TICAM-1, unlike its wild-type counterpart that forms self-aggregation, but it still retained the ability to pass LPS-mediated IFN regulatory factor (IRF)3 activation. In a TICAM-2 knockout human cell line expressing TLR4/MD-2 with or without CD14, overexpression of the D91A/E92A mutant did not activate IRF3, but upon LPS stimulation, it induced sufficient TLR4-mediated IRF3 activation with high coefficient colocalization. Hence, the D91/E92 motif guides TICAM-2 membrane localization and self-activation for signaling. Our results suggest the presence of two distinct steps underlying endosomal LPS signaling on TICAM-2 for TICAM-1 activation: TICAM-2 assembling in TLR4 and/or TICAM-2 self-activation. D91A/E92A of TICAM-2 selectively associates the TLR4-dependent TICAM-2 assembling, but not cytosolic TICAM-2 self-aggregation, to activate TICAM-1. Copyright © 2015 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc.


Kenji Funami, Misako Matsumoto, Yoshiaki Enokizono, Noriko Ishii, Megumi Tatematsu, Hiroyuki Oshiumi, Fuyuhiko Inagaki, Tsukasa Seya. Identification of a Regulatory Acidic Motif as the Determinant of Membrane Localization of TICAM-2. Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950). 2015 Nov 1;195(9):4456-65

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PMID: 26408662

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