The role of hybrid ubiquitin chains in the MyD88 and other innate immune signalling pathways

Philip Cohen (Lead / Corresponding author), Sam Strickson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

84 Citations (Scopus)
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The adaptor protein MyD88 is required for signal transmission by Toll-like Receptors (TLRs) and receptors of the interleukin 1 (IL-1) family of cytokines. MyD88 signalling triggers the formation of Lys63-linked and Met1-linked ubiquitin (K63-Ub, M1-Ub) chains within minutes. The K63-Ub chains, which are formed by the E3 ubiquitin ligases TRAF6, Pellino1 and Pellino2, activate TAK1, the master kinase that switches on mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase cascades and initiates activation of the canonical IκB kinase (IKK) complex. The M1-Ub chains, which are formed by the Linear Ubiquitin chain Assembly Complex (LUBAC), bind to the NEMO component of the IKK complex and are required for TAK1 to activate IKKs, but not MAP kinases. An essential E3 ligase-independent role of TRAF6 is to recruit LUBAC into the MyD88 signalling complex, where it recognises preformed K63-Ub chains attached to protein components of these complexes, such as IRAK1, producing ubiquitin chains containing both types of linkage, termed K63/M1-Ub hybrids. The formation of K63/M1-Ub hybrids, which is a feature of several innate immune signalling pathways, permits the co-recruitment of proteins that interact with either K63-Ub or M1-Ub chains. Two likely roles for K63/M1- Ub hybrids are to facilitate the TAK1-dependent activation of the IKK complex and to prevent the hyper-activation of these kinases by recruiting A20 and A20-binding inhibitor of NF-κB1 (ABIN1). These proteins restrict activation of the TAK1 and IKK complexes, probably by competing with them for binding to K63/M1-Ub hybrids. The formation of K63/M1-Ub hybrids may also regulate the rate at which the ubiquitin linkages in these chains are hydrolysed. The IKK-catalysed phosphorylation of some of its substrates permits their recognition by the E3 ligase SCFβ TRCP, leading to their Lys48-linked ubiquitylation and proteasomal degradation. Innate immune signalling is therefore controlled by the formation and destruction of three different types of ubiquitin linkage.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1153-1159
Number of pages7
JournalCell Death & Differentiation
Early online date5 May 2017
Publication statusPublished - May 2017


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