Axel Thiefes

Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Lower Saxony, Germany

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Publications (4)21.14 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: The mechanism by which YopP simultaneously inhibits mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and nuclear factor-kappaB pathways has been elusive. Ectopic expression of YopP inhibits the activity and ubiquitination of a complex consisting of overexpressed TGF-beta-activated kinase 1 (TAK1) and its subunit TAK1-binding protein (TAB)1, but not of MEK kinase 1. YopP, but not the catalytically inactive mutant YopP(C172A), also suppresses basal and interleukin-1-inducible activation of endogenous TAK1, TAB1 and TAB2. YopP does not affect the interaction of TAK1, TAB1 and TAB2 but inhibits autophosphorylation of TAK1 at Thr 187 and phosphorylation of TAB1 at Ser 438. Glutathione S-transferase-tagged YopP (GST-YopP) binds to MAPK kinase (MAPKK)4 and TAB1 but not to TAK1 or TAB2 in vitro. Furthermore, YopP in synergy with a previously described negative regulatory feedback loop inhibits TAK1 by MAPKK6-p38-mediated TAB1 phosphorylation. Taken together, these data strongly suggest that YopP binds to TAB1 and directly inhibits TAK1 activity by affecting constitutive TAK1 and TAB1 ubiquitination that is required for autoactivation of TAK1.
    EMBO Reports 09/2006; 7(8):838-44. · 7.19 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The inflammatory response is characterized by the induction (or repression) of hundreds of genes. The activity of many of these genes is controlled by MAPKs and the IkappaB kinase-NFkappaB pathway. To reveal the effects of blocking these pathways simultaneously, fibroblasts were infected with retroviruses encoding TAK1K63W, an inactive mutant of the protein kinase TAK1. Expression of this protein inhibited tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-induced activation of NFkappaB, JNK, and p38 MAPK and sensitized the cells to TNF-induced apoptosis. 23 different microarray experiments were used to analyze the expression of >7000 genes in these cells. We identified 518 genes that were regulated by TNF in both TAK1K63W-expressing cells and control cells, 37 genes induced by TNF only when TAK1K63W was present, and 48 TNF-induced genes that were suppressed by TAK1K63W. The TNF-inducible genes that were most strongly suppressed by TAK1K63W, ccl2, ccl7, ccl5, cxcl1, cxcl5, cxcl10, saa3, and slpi also had much lower basal levels of expression, indicating that TAK1 also played a role in their normal expression. Chromatin immunoprecipitation studies on four of these genes suggested that inactivation of TAK1 activity led to direct suppression of expression at the transcriptional level because of impaired recruitment of RNA polymerase II to their promoters. ccl2 induction by TNF or interleukin-1 was also suppressed in cells that expressed TAK1 antisense RNA or that were genetically deficient in JNK1/2 or p65 NFkappaB. These data suggest that regulation of the expression of a selected group of inflammation-related genes is funneled through TAK1, making it a potentially useful target for more specific anti-inflammatory drug development.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 07/2005; 280(30):27728-41. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Binding sites for the dimeric transcription factor activator protein (AP)-1 are found in numerous immunoregulatory and inflammatory genes. The precise mechanisms by which AP-1 activates or represses immune response genes and in particular the roles of individual AP-1 subunits in inflammatory responses are largely unknown. We report here that c-Fos and Fos-related antigen-1 (Fra-1), two inducible components of AP-1, are recruited to the endogenous interleukin (IL)-8 promoter in an IL-1-dependent manner. c-Fos activates IL-8 transcription and synergizes in this effect with p65 NF-kappaB. In contrast, Fra-1 strongly inhibits inducible IL-8 transcription. Fra-1 activation involves its stabilization, ubiquitination, and interaction with histone deacetylase-1. Blockade of MEK1 by PD98059 suppresses c-Fos and Fra-1 expression and, thus, affects two counteractive signals for IL-8 mRNA synthesis simultaneously. This disturbs the inducible recruitment of TATA box-binding protein and RNA polymerase II to the IL-8 promoter. Additional experiments reveal that, in conjunction with p65 NF-kappaB, the MEK1-ERK-dependent synthesis of c-Fos and Fra-1 serves to adjust the overall expression level of IL-8 in response to two of its physiological inducers, IL-1 and epidermal growth factor. Relative to c-Fos, the delayed recruitment of Fra-1 to the IL-8 promoter provides an example how AP-1 subunits may dampen excessive chemokine synthesis.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 04/2005; 280(10):9706-18. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Mechanisms of fulminant gene induction during an inflammatory response were investigated using expression of the chemoattractant cytokine interleukin-8 (IL-8) as a model. Recently we found that coordinate activation of NF-kappaB and c-Jun N-terminal protein kinase (JNK) is required for strong IL-8 transcription, whereas the p38 MAP kinase (MAPK) pathway stabilizes the IL-8 mRNA. It is unclear how these pathways are coupled to the receptor for IL-1, an important physiological inducer of IL-8. Expression of the MAP kinase kinase kinase (MAPKKK) TAK1 together with its coactivator TAB1 in HeLa cells activated all three pathways and was sufficient to induce IL-8 formation, NF-kappaB + JNK2-mediated transcription from a minimal IL-8 promoter, and p38 MAPK-mediated stabilization of a reporter mRNA containing IL-8-derived regulatory mRNA sequences. Expression of a kinase-inactive mutant of TAK1 largely blocked IL-1-induced transcription and mRNA stabilization, as well as formation of endogenous IL-8. Truncated TAB1, lacking the TAK1 binding domain, or a TAK1-derived peptide containing a TAK1 autoinhibitory domain were also efficient in inhibition. These data indicate that the previously described three-pathway model of IL-8 induction is operative in response to a physiological stimulus, IL-1, and that the MAPKKK TAK1 couples the IL-1 receptor to both transcriptional and RNA-targeted mechanisms mediated by the three pathways.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 03/2001; 276(5):3508-16. · 4.65 Impact Factor