The death domain-containing receptor superfamily and their respective downstream mediators control whether or not cells initiate apoptosis or activate NF-κB, events critical for proper immune system function. A Screen for upstream activators of NF-κB identified a novel serine-threonine kinase capable of activating NF-κB and inducing apoptosis. Based upon domain organization and sequence similarity, this novel kinase, named mRIP3 (mouse receptor interacting protein 3), appears to be a new RIP family member. RIP, RIP2, and mRIP3 contain an N-terminal kinase domain that share 30 to 40% homology. In contrast to the C-terminal death domain found in RIP or the C- terminal caspase-recruiting domain found in RIP2, the C-terminal tail of mRIP3 contains neither motif and is unique. Despite this feature, overexpression of the mRIP3 C terminus is sufficient to induce apoptosis, suggesting that mRIP3 uses a novel mechanism to induce death, mRIP3 also induced NF-κB activity which was inhibited by overexpression of either dominant-negative NIK or dominant-negative TRAF2. In vitro kinase assays demonstrate that mRIP3 is catalytically active and has autophosphorylation site(s) in the C-terminal domain, but the mRIP3 catalytic activity is not required for mRIP3 induced apoptosis and NF-κB activation. Unlike RIP and RIP2, mRIP3 mRNA is expressed in a subset of adult tissues and is thus likely to be a tissue-specific regulator of apoptosis and NF-κB activity. While the lack of a dominant-negative mutant precludes linking mRIP3 to a known upstream regulator, characterizing the expression pattern and the in vitro functions of mRIP3 provides insight into the mechanism(s) by which cells modulate the balance between survival and death in a cell-type-specific manner.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Molecular and cellular biology|
|State||Published - Oct 1 1999|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology