J Biol Chem 2013 Oct 9;288(42):30210-22. Epub 2013 Sep 9.
From the Department of Biomedicine and Prevention, University of Rome "Tor Vergata", 00133 Rome, Italy.
Myeloid differentiation factor 88 (MyD88) is an adaptor protein that transduces intracellular signaling pathways evoked by the Toll-like receptors (TLRs) and interleukin-1 receptors (IL-1Rs). MyD88 is composed of an N-terminal death domain (DD) and a C-terminal Toll/IL-1 receptor (TIR) domain, separated by a short region. Upon ligand binding, TLR/IL-1Rs hetero- or homodimerize and recruit MyD88 through their respective TIR domains. Then, MyD88 oligomerizes via its DD and TIR domain and interacts with the interleukin-1 receptor-associated kinases (IRAKs) to form the Myddosome complex. We performed site-directed mutagenesis of conserved residues that are located in exposed regions of the MyD88-TIR domain and analyzed the effect of the mutations on MyD88 signaling. Our studies revealed that mutation of Glu(183), Ser(244), and Arg(288) impaired homodimerization of the MyD88-TIR domain, recruitment of IRAKs, and activation of NF-κB. Moreover, overexpression of two green fluorescent protein (GFP)-tagged MyD88 mini-proteins (GFP-MyD88151-189 and GFP-MyD88168-189), comprising the Glu(183) residue, recapitulated these effects. Importantly, expression of these dominant negative MyD88 mini-proteins competed with the function of endogenous MyD88 and interfered with TLR2/4-mediated responses in a human monocytic cell line (THP-1) and in human primary monocyte-derived dendritic cells. Thus, our studies identify novel residues of the TIR domain that are crucially involved in MyD88 homodimerization and TLR signaling in immune cells.