Background: Previous studies have linked neurotrophin receptor-interacting MAGE protein to the bone morphogenic protein signaling pathway and its effect on p38 mediated apoptosis of neural progenitor cells via the XIAP-Tak1-Tab1 complex. Its effect on NF-kappaB has yet to be explored.
Results: Herein we report that NRAGE, via the same XIAP-Tak1-Tab1 complex, is required for the phosphorylation of IKK -alpha/beta and subsequent transcriptional activation of the p65 subunit of NF-kappaB. Ablation of endogenous NRAGE by siRNA inhibited NF-kappaB pathway activation, while ablation of Tak1 and Tab1 by morpholino inhibited overexpression of NRAGE from activating NF-kappaB. Finally, cytokine profiling of an NRAGE over-expressing stable line revealed the expression of macrophage migration inhibitory factor.
Conclusion: Modulation of NRAGE expression revealed novel roles in regulating NF-kappaB activity in the non-canonical bone morphogenic protein signaling pathway. The expression of macrophage migration inhibitory factor by bone morphogenic protein -4 reveals novel crosstalk between an immune cytokine and a developmental pathway.