Coordinated regulation of scaffold opening and enzymatic activity during CARD11 signaling

J Biol Chem. 2019 Oct 4;294(40):14648-14660. doi: 10.1074/jbc.RA119.009551. Epub 2019 Aug 7.


The activation of key signaling pathways downstream of antigen receptor engagement is critically required for normal lymphocyte activation during the adaptive immune response. CARD11 is a multidomain signaling scaffold protein required for antigen receptor signaling to NF-κB, c-Jun N-terminal kinase, and mTOR. Germline mutations in the CARD11 gene result in at least four types of primary immunodeficiency, and somatic CARD11 gain-of-function mutations drive constitutive NF-κB activity in diffuse large B cell lymphoma and other lymphoid cancers. In response to antigen receptor triggering, CARD11 transitions from a closed, inactive state to an open, active scaffold that recruits multiple signaling partners into a complex to relay downstream signaling. However, how this signal-induced CARD11 conversion occurs remains poorly understood. Here we investigate the role of Inducible Element 1 (IE1), a short regulatory element in the CARD11 Inhibitory Domain, in the CARD11 signaling cycle. We find that IE1 controls the signal-dependent Opening Step that makes CARD11 accessible to the binding of cofactors, including Bcl10, MALT1, and the HOIP catalytic subunit of the linear ubiquitin chain assembly complex. Surprisingly, we find that IE1 is also required at an independent step for the maximal activation of HOIP and MALT1 enzymatic activity after cofactor recruitment to CARD11. This role of IE1 reveals that there is an Enzymatic Activation Step in the CARD11 signaling cycle that is distinct from the Cofactor Association Step. Our results indicate that CARD11 has evolved to actively coordinate scaffold opening and the induction of enzymatic activity among recruited cofactors during antigen receptor signaling.

Keywords: Bcl10; CARD11; LUBAC; MALT1; NF-kappa B (NF-κB); antigen receptor; immunology; scaffold protein; signal transduction; ubiquitylation (ubiquitination).

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptive Immunity / genetics*
  • B-Cell CLL-Lymphoma 10 Protein / genetics
  • CARD Signaling Adaptor Proteins / chemistry*
  • CARD Signaling Adaptor Proteins / genetics
  • CARD Signaling Adaptor Proteins / ultrastructure
  • Germ-Line Mutation / genetics
  • Guanylate Cyclase / chemistry*
  • Guanylate Cyclase / genetics
  • Guanylate Cyclase / ultrastructure
  • Humans
  • JNK Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases / genetics
  • Jurkat Cells
  • Lymphocyte Activation / genetics
  • Mucosa-Associated Lymphoid Tissue Lymphoma Translocation 1 Protein / genetics
  • Multiprotein Complexes / chemistry*
  • Multiprotein Complexes / genetics
  • Multiprotein Complexes / ultrastructure
  • NF-kappa B / genetics
  • Protein Binding / genetics
  • Protein Conformation
  • Receptors, Antigen / chemistry
  • Receptors, Antigen / genetics*
  • Signal Transduction / genetics
  • TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases / genetics
  • Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases / genetics


  • B-Cell CLL-Lymphoma 10 Protein
  • CARD Signaling Adaptor Proteins
  • Multiprotein Complexes
  • NF-kappa B
  • Receptors, Antigen
  • RNF31 protein, human
  • Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases
  • MTOR protein, human
  • TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • JNK Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases
  • Mucosa-Associated Lymphoid Tissue Lymphoma Translocation 1 Protein
  • CARD11 protein, human
  • Guanylate Cyclase