TRAF2 Must Bind to Cellular Inhibitors of Apoptosis for Tumor Necrosis Factor (Tnf) to Efficiently Activate nf-{kappa}b and to Prevent TNF-Induced Apoptosis

J Biol Chem. 2009 Dec 18;284(51):35906-15. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M109.072256.


Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) receptor-associated factor-2 (TRAF2) binds to cIAP1 and cIAP2 (cIAP1/2) and recruits them to the cytoplasmic domain of several members of the TNF receptor (TNFR) superfamily, including the TNF-TNFR1 ligand-receptor complex. Here, we define a cIAP1/2-interacting motif (CIM) within the TRAF-N domain of TRAF2, and we use TRAF2 CIM mutants to determine the role of TRAF2 and cIAP1/2 individually, and the TRAF2-cIAP1/2 interaction, in TNFR1-dependent signaling. We show that both the TRAF2 RING domain and the TRAF2 CIM are required to regulate NF-kappaB-inducing kinase stability and suppress constitutive noncanonical NF-kappaB activation. Conversely, following TNFR1 stimulation, cells bearing a CIM-mutated TRAF2 showed reduced canonical NF-kappaB activation and TNF-induced RIPK1 ubiquitylation. Remarkably, the RING domain of TRAF2 was dispensable for these functions. However, like the TRAF2 CIM, the RING domain of TRAF2 was required for protection against TNF-induced apoptosis. These results show that TRAF2 has anti-apoptotic signaling roles in addition to promoting NF-kappaB signaling and that efficient activation of NF-kappaB by TNFR1 requires the recruitment of cIAP1/2 by TRAF2.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Motifs / physiology
  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / physiology*
  • Cell Line
  • Inhibitor of Apoptosis Proteins / genetics
  • Inhibitor of Apoptosis Proteins / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • NF-kappa B / genetics
  • NF-kappa B / metabolism*
  • Protein Binding / physiology
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary / physiology
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor, Type I / genetics
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor, Type I / metabolism*
  • TNF Receptor-Associated Factor 2 / genetics
  • TNF Receptor-Associated Factor 2 / metabolism*
  • Tumor Necrosis Factors / metabolism*


  • Inhibitor of Apoptosis Proteins
  • NF-kappa B
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor, Type I
  • TNF Receptor-Associated Factor 2
  • Tnfrsf1a protein, mouse
  • Tumor Necrosis Factors