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Cleavage of NIK by the API2-MALT1 Fusion Oncoprotein Leads to Noncanonical NF-κB Activation

Science  28 Jan 2011:
Vol. 331, Issue 6016, pp. 468-472
DOI: 10.1126/science.1198946

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Abstract

Proper regulation of nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) transcriptional activity is required for normal lymphocyte function, and deregulated NF-κB signaling can facilitate lymphomagenesis. We demonstrate that the API2-MALT1 fusion oncoprotein created by the recurrent t(11;18)(q21;q21) in mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphoma induces proteolytic cleavage of NF-κB–inducing kinase (NIK) at arginine 325. NIK cleavage requires the concerted actions of both fusion partners and generates a C-terminal NIK fragment that retains kinase activity and is resistant to proteasomal degradation. The resulting deregulated NIK activity is associated with constitutive noncanonical NF-κB signaling, enhanced B cell adhesion, and apoptosis resistance. Our study reveals the gain-of-function proteolytic activity of a fusion oncoprotein and highlights the importance of the noncanonical NF-κB pathway in B lymphoproliferative disease.

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