Nuclear factor-κB-inducing kinase (NIK) contains an amino-terminal inhibitor of apoptosis (IAP)-binding motif (IBM) that potentiates NIK degradation by cellular IAP1 (c-IAP1)

Sunhee Lee, Madhavi Challa-Malladi, Shawn B. Bratton, Casey Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Scopus citations


Activation of the noncanonical NF-κB pathway hinges on the stability of the NF-κB-inducing kinase (NIK), which is kept at low levels basally by a protein complex consisting of the E3 ubiquitin ligases cellular inhibitor of apoptosis 1 and 2 (c-IAP1/2) proteins and the tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated factors 2 and 3 (TRAF2/3). NIK is brought into close proximity to the c-IAPs through a TRAF2-TRAF3 bridge where TRAF2 recruits c-IAP1/2 and TRAF3 binds to NIK. However, it is not clear how the c-IAPs specifically recognize and ubiquitylate NIK in the complex. We have identified an IAP-binding motif (IBM) at the amino terminus of NIK. IBMs are utilized by a number of proapoptotic proteins to antagonize IAP function. Here, we utilize mutational studies to demonstrate that wild-type NIK is destabilized in the presence of c-IAP1, whereas the NIK IBM mutant is stable. NIK interacts with the second baculovirus IAP repeat (BIR2) domain of c-IAP1 via the IBM, and this interaction, in turn, provides substrate recognition for c-IAP1 mediated ubiquitylation and degradation of NIK. Furthermore, in the presence of the NIK IBM mutant, we observed an elevated processing of p100 to p52 followed by increased expression of NF-κB target genes. Together, these findings reveal the novel identification and function of the NIK IBM, which promotes c-IAP1-dependent ubiquitylation of NIK, resulting in optimal NIK turnover to ensure that noncanonical NF-κBsignaling is off in the absence of an activating signal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)30680-30689
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number44
StatePublished - Oct 31 2014
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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