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Title: The role of the linear ubiquitin chain assembly complex (LUBAC) in death receptor signalling
Author: Cordier, Stefanie
Awarding Body: Imperial College London
Current Institution: Imperial College London
Date of Award: 2012
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TNF is a cytokine with important functions in inflammation and immunity. Binding to its receptor TNF-Receptor-1 (TNFR1) induces the formation of a signalling platform which leads to TNF-target gene transcription and consequently the induction of cellular immune responses. To understand and possibly influence the effects observed upon TNF stimulation, it is important to define the molecular machinery responsible for signal transduction. In order to resolve the composition of the TNF-Receptor signalling complex (TNF-RSC) our group developed a highly sensitive modified tandem affinity purification method (moTAP). Using this technique, we recently reported on the recruitment of the two In-Between-RING (IBR) family members HOIL-1 (heme-oxidized IRP2 Ub ligase-1) and HOIP (HOIL-1 interacting protein) to the TNF-Receptor signalling complex (TNF-RSC) (reviewed in Haas et al, 2009). Together, HOIL-1 and HOIP form an E3 ligase complex that is capable of generating linear ubiquitin chains and therefore referred to as “linear ubiquitin chain assembly complex” (LUBAC) (Kirisako et al, 2006). In addition to HOIL-1 and HOIP, we also identified Sharpin (SHANK-associated RH domain-interacting protein) as a further component that is recruited to the TNF-RSC in a stimulation-dependent manner. In this study I show that Sharpin forms an endogenous, stimulation-independent complex with HOIL-1 and HOIP. Although the mRNA levels of HOIL-1 and HOIP are unchanged in the absence of Sharpin, their respective protein levels are strongly diminished. These data indicate that Sharpin, HOIL-1 and HOIP form a tripartite complex. As previously shown for HOIL-1 and HOIP, overexpression of Sharpin together with HOIP also stabilises the TNF-RSC and leads to activation of NF-kB. Therefore, LUBAC does not only consist of HOIL-1 and HOIP, but also includes Sharpin. A spontaneous point deletion in the Sharpin gene ablating its expression leads to the development of chronic proliferative dermatitis (cpdm) in mice (HogenEsch et al, 1993; HogenEsch et al, 1999; Seymour et al, 2007). Cpdm mice develop a multi-organ inflammatory disease with prominent skin lesions and display severe abnormalities in lymphoid architecture, including absence of Peyer’s patches, marginal zones, germinal centres, and follicular dendritic cells. Mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) and primary keratinocytes generated from these mice show impaired TNF-induced NF-kB and MAPK signalling. Although activation of these pathways is not completely dependent on LUBAC activity, its presence is required for full activation as demonstrated by proper induction of TNF-target genes. In line with these TNF-induced signalling defects, cpdm-derived cells are prone to TNF-mediated cell death, which is partially apoptotic and partially necroptotic. Thus, loss of Sharpin results in a cell death favouring dysregulation of TNF-induced signalling which is responsible for the inflammatory phenotype observed in cpdm mice. Following the identification of a role for LUBAC in TNF signalling I determined whether it also played a role in signalling by the TNF related ligands TRAIL and CD95 ligand (CD95L/FasL). As compared to TNF, absence of a LUBAC component also sensitised cells to TRAIL- and CD95L- induced cell death, indicating that LUBAC plays a crucial role in cell survival. Accordingly, non-apoptotic TRAIL- and CD95L-induced signalling was also affected in the absence of LUBAC as determined by altered NF-κB and MAPK responses, respectively. Taken together, the results obtained in this thesis determine LUBAC as a novel regulator of various death receptor-driven signalling pathways implicated in gene activation, cell death induction and, as a consequence, innate immunity and inflammation.
Supervisor: Walczak, Henning Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral