Regulation of IRAK-4 kinase activity via autophosphorylation within its activation loop.

Research paper by Hong H Cheng, Terri T Addona, Hasmik H Keshishian, Erik E Dahlstrand, Chafen C Lu, Marion M Dorsch, Zhi Z Li, Anlai A Wang, Timothy D TD Ocain, Ping P Li, Thomas F TF Parsons, Bruce B Jaffee, Yajun Y Xu

Indexed on: 05 Dec '06Published on: 05 Dec '06Published in: Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications


Interleukin-1 stimulation leads to the recruitment of MyD88, interleukin-1 receptor-associated kinase 1 (IRAK-1) and interleukin-1 receptor-associated kinase 4 (IRAK-4) to the IL-1 receptor. The formation of the IL-1 receptor complex triggers a series of IRAK-1 autophosphorylations, which result in activation. IRAK-4 is upstream of IRAK-1 and may act as IRAK-1 kinase to transmit the signal. To date, there is no upstream kinase reported for IRAK-4; the activation mechanism of IRAK-4 remains poorly understood. Here, for the first time, we report three autophosphorylation sites that are responsible for IRAK-4 kinase activity. LC-MS/MS analysis has identified phosphorylations at T342, T345, and S346, which reside within the activation loop. Site-directed mutants at these positions exhibit significant reductions in the catalytic activity of IRAK-4 (T342A: 57%; T345A: 66%; S346A: 50%). The absence of phosphorylation in kinase-dead IRAK-4 indicates that phosphorylations in the activation loop result from autophosphorylation rather than from phosphorylation by an upstream kinase. Finally, we demonstrate that autophosphorylation is an intramolecular event as wild-type IRAK-4 failed to transphosphorylate kinase-inactive IRAK-4. The present data indicate that the kinase activity of IRAK-4 is dependent on the autophosphorylations at T342, T345, and S346 in the activation loop.