The Role of RIP1 in the TNFR1 Signal Transduction Pathway: a Dissertation

Publication Date

September 2004

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation


Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences


Antigens, CD; GTPase-Activating Proteins; Interleukin-6; MAP Kinase Signaling System; NF-kappa B; p38 Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases; Phosphorylation; Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor, Type I; Ubiquitin; Academic Dissertations


The cytokine tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα) stimulates the NF-кB, SAPK/JNK, and p38 mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase pathways by recruiting Rip1 and Traf2 proteins to the tumor necrosis factor receptor 1 (TNFR1). Genetic studies have revealed that Rip1 links the TNFR1 to the IкB kinase (IKK) complex, whereas Traf2 couples the TNFR1 to the SAPK/JNK cascade. We found TNFα-induced p38 MAP kinase activation and interleukin-6 (IL-6) production is impaired in rip1-/- murine embryonic fibroblasts (MEF) but unaffected in traj2-/- MEF, demonstrating that Rip1 is also a specific mediator of the p38 MAP kinase response to TNFα. Moreover, we demonstrate that endogenous Rip1 associates with the MAP3K, Mekk3 in response to TNFα and that TNFα-induced p38 MAP kinase activation is impaired in mekk3-/- cells, indicating that Rip1 may mediate the p38 MAP kinase response to TNFα by recruiting Mekk3.

We also demonstrate that Rip1 is phosphorylated and ubiquitinated in response to Tnfα and that Rip1 phosphorylation is not required for ubiquitination of Rip1. Furthermore, TNFα-induced ubiquitination of Rip1 is impaired in Traf2-/- cells, suggesting that Traf2 is the E3 ubiquitin ligase responsible for the TNFα-dependent ubiquitination of Rip1. Finally, recruitment of the ubiquitinated Tak1 complex is dependent on the presence of Rip1, suggesting that Rip1 ubiquitination rather than its phosphorylation is critical in TNFR1 signaling.


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