Hongxiu Li

University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, United States

Are you Hongxiu Li?

Claim your profile

Publications (10)117.4 Total impact

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Reversible ubiquitin modification of cell signaling molecules has emerged as a critical mechanism by which cells respond to extracellular stimuli. Although ubiquitination of TGF-β-activated kinase 1 (TAK1) is critical for NF-κB activation in T cells, the regulation of its deubiquitination is unclear. We show that USP18, which was previously reported to be important in regulating type I interferon signaling in innate immunity, regulates T cell activation and T helper 17 (Th17) cell differentiation by deubiquitinating the TAK1-TAB1 complex. USP18-deficient T cells are defective in Th17 differentiation and Usp18(-/-) mice are resistant to experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). In response to T cell receptor engagement, USP18-deficient T cells exhibit hyperactivation of NF-κB and NFAT and produce increased levels of IL-2 compared with the wild-type controls. Importantly, USP18 is associated with and deubiquitinates the TAK1-TAB1 complex, thereby restricting expression of IL-2. Our findings thus demonstrate a previously uncharacterized negative regulation of TAK1 activity during Th17 differentiation, suggesting that USP18 may be targeted to treat autoimmune diseases.
    Journal of Experimental Medicine 07/2013; · 13.21 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Protein ubiquitination plays a critical role in Toll-like receptor (TLR) signaling and innate immunity. Although several E3 ubiquitin ligases have been identified downstream of TLRs, the regulation of protein deubiquitination in TLR-triggered innate immune responses is poorly understood. We identified ubiquitin-specific protease 25 (USP25) as a regulator of TLR signaling. USP25 was recruited to the TLR4 signaling complex, and it associated with the adaptor proteins tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated factor 3 (TRAF3) and TRAF6 after stimulation of TLR4 with its ligand lipopolysaccharide (LPS). USP25 specifically reversed the Lys(48)-linked ubiquitination of TRAF3 that was mediated by the E3 ubiquitin ligase cIAP2 (cellular inhibitor of apoptosis 2). Deficiency in USP25 enhanced the extent of ubiquitination of TRAF3 and accelerated its degradation after TLR4 activation, which potentiated TLR4-induced activation of NF-κB (nuclear factor κB) and MAPK (mitogen-activated protein kinase) signaling, but inhibited activation of the transcription factor IRF3 (interferon regulatory factor 3). USP25-deficient mice exhibited increased susceptibility to LPS-induced septic shock compared to their wild-type counterparts, which was associated with enhanced production of proinflammatory cytokines and decreased production of interferon-α. Thus, by inhibiting the degradation of TRAF3 during TLR4 activation, USP25 enables a balanced innate immune response.
    Science Signaling 01/2013; 6(275):ra35. · 7.65 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: EGF activates NF-κB, and constitutively activated NF-κB contributes to EGFR mutation-associated tumorigenesis, but it remains unclear precisely how EGFR signaling leads to NF-κB activation. Here we report that CARMA3, a caspase recruitment domain (CARD)-containing scaffold molecule, is required for EGF-induced NF-κB activation. CARMA3 deficiency impaired the activation of the IKK complex following EGF stimulation, resulting in a defect of EGF-induced IκBα phosphorylation and NF-κB activation. We found that CARMA3 and Bcl10 contributed to several characteristics of EGFR-associated malignancy, including proliferation, survival, migration, and invasion. Most importantly, CARMA3 contributed to tumor growth in vivo. Our findings elucidate a crucial link between EGFR-proximal signaling components and the downstream IKK complex, and they suggest a new therapeutic target for treatment of EGFR-driven cancers.
    Cancer Research 03/2011; 71(6):2183-92. · 9.28 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) is a potent agonist that exerts various cellular functions on many cell types through binding to its cognate G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). Although LPA induces NF-kappaB activation by acting on its GPCR receptor, the molecular mechanism of LPA receptor-mediated NF-kappaB activation remains to be well defined. In the present study, by using MEKK3-, TAK1-, and IKKbeta-deficient murine embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs), we found that MEKK3 but not TAK1 deficiency impairs LPA and protein kinase C (PKC)-induced IkappaB kinase (IKK)-NF-kappaB activation, and IKKbeta is required for PKC-induced NF-kappaB activation. In addition, we demonstrate that LPA and PKC-induced IL-6 and MIP-2 production are abolished in the absence of MEKK3 but not TAK1. Together, our results provide the genetic evidence that MEKK3 but not TAK1 is required for LPA receptor-mediated IKK-NF-kappaB activation.
    Cellular Signalling 06/2009; 21(10):1488-94. · 4.47 Impact Factor
  • Hongxiu Li, Xin Lin
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Tumor Necrosis Factor alpha (TNFalpha) is a pro-inflammatory cytokine that plays important roles in different biological processes, including the induction of other cytokines. One of the most important downstream signaling targets activated by TNFalpha is the NF-kappaB transcription factor, which has been identified to be involved in inflammatory, anti-apoptotic, and immune responses. Stimulation of cells with TNFalpha triggers activation of NF-kappaB through various signaling molecules, including TRAF2, RIP, MAP3K, and the IKK complex. Recently, numerous studies have been performed to explore the detailed mechanism by which NF-kappaB is activated upon TNFalpha stimulation. Current understanding of this pathway has been focused on the identification of signaling components, the role of post-translational modification and the sub-cellular translocation of those components. Additionally, more negative regulators in the TNF-IKK pathway are emerging.
    Cytokine 02/2008; 41(1):1-8. · 2.52 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The IkappaB kinase (IKK) complex serves as the master regulator for the activation of NF-kappaB by various stimuli. It contains two catalytic subunits, IKKalpha and IKKbeta, and a regulatory subunit, IKKgamma/NEMO. The activation of IKK complex is dependent on the phosphorylation of IKKalpha/beta at its activation loop and the K63-linked ubiquitination of NEMO. However, the molecular mechanism by which these inducible modifications occur remains undefined. Here, we demonstrate that CARMA1, a key scaffold molecule, is essential to regulate NEMO ubiquitination upon T-cell receptor (TCR) stimulation. However, the phosphorylation of IKKalpha/beta activation loop is independent of CARMA1 or NEMO ubiquitination. Further, we provide evidence that TAK1 is activated and recruited to the synapses in a CARMA1-independent manner and mediate IKKalpha/beta phosphorylation. Thus, our study provides the biochemical and genetic evidence that phosphorylation of IKKalpha/beta and ubiquitination of NEMO are regulated by two distinct pathways upon TCR stimulation.
    The EMBO Journal 05/2007; 26(7):1794-805. · 9.82 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The caspase-recruitment domain-containing adaptor protein CARD9 regulates the innate signaling responses to fungal infection. Here we show that CARD9 is required for innate immune responses against intracellular pathogens. We generated Card9(-/-) mice and found that CARD9-deficient macrophages had defects in activation of the kinases p38 and Jnk but not of transcription factor NF-kappaB after bacterial and viral infection. CARD9-deficient mice failed to clear infection and showed altered cytokine production after challenge with Listeria monocytogenes. In wild-type cells, we found CARD9 inducibly associated with both the intracellular 'biosensor' Nod2 and the serine-threonine kinase RICK. Our data demonstrate that CARD9 has a critical function in Nod2-mediated activation of p38 and Jnk in innate immune responses to intracellular pathogens.
    Nature Immunology 03/2007; 8(2):198-205. · 26.20 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Members of the c-Jun NH(2)-terminal kinase (JNK) family play crucial roles in cell activation, differentiation, and apoptosis. Although many studies have indicated that JNK1 and JNK2 have functional differences and redundancy, the upstream signaling pathway that selectively activates JNK1 or JNK2 remains unknown. In this study, we have revealed a selective mechanism of JNK activation, in which JNK2, but not JNK1, was regulated by CARMA1, a scaffold molecule, after stimulation of the T cell receptor (TCR). This CARMA1-dependent regulation of JNK2 worked through the scaffold molecule Bcl10, which was inducibly associated with JNK2 and served as a JNK-interacting protein (JIP)-like scaffold to assemble the kinases JNK2, MKK7, and TAK1. Finally, we showed that CARMA1- and Bcl10-mediated JNK2 activation had a critical role in regulating the amount of c-Jun protein. Together, our studies provide genetic evidence that JNK1 and JNK2 are differentially regulated in the TCR-signaling pathway and play different functions.
    Immunity 02/2007; 26(1):55-66. · 19.80 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Stimulation of cells with tumor necrosis factor (TNFalpha) triggers a recruitment of various signaling molecules, such as RIP, to the TNFalpha receptor 1 complex, leading to activation of NF-kappaB. Previous studies indicate that RIP plays an essential role for TNFalpha-induced NF-kappaB activation, but the molecular mechanism by which RIP mediates TNFalpha signals to activate NF-kappaB is not fully defined. Earlier studies suggest that RIP undergoes a ligand-dependent ubiquitination. However, it remains to be determined whether the ubiquitination of RIP is required for TNFalpha-induced NF-kappaB activation. In this study, we have identified Lys377 of RIP as the functional ubiquitination site, because mutating this residue to arginine completely abolished RIP-mediated NF-kappaB activation. The K377R mutation of RIP cannot undergo ligand-dependent ubiquitination and fails to recruit its downstream signaling components into the TNFalpha receptor 1 complex. Together, our studies provide the first genetic evidence that the ubiquitination of RIP is required for TNFalpha-induced NF-kappaB activation.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 06/2006; 281(19):13636-43. · 4.65 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: CARMA1 mediates T cell receptor (TCR)-induced NF-kappaB activation. However, how TCR links to CARMA1 in the signaling pathway is not clear. Here, we show that CARMA1 is inducibly phosphorylated after TCR-CD28 costimulation. This phosphorylation is likely induced by PKCtheta, since PKCtheta induces phosphorylation of CARMA1 in vitro and in vivo. Our results indicate that the PKCtheta-induced phosphorylation of CARMA1 likely occurs on Ser552 on the Linker region of CARMA1. Importantly, expression of CARMA1 mutant, in which Ser552 is mutated, fails to mediate TCR-induced NF-kappaB activation in CARMA1-deficient T cells. The functional defect of this CARMA1 mutant is likely due to the fact that this mutant cannot be phosphorylated at the critical residue, thereby failing to recruit the downstream signaling components into the immunological synapse. Together, our studies provide the first genetic evidence that the phosphorylation of CARMA1 plays a critical role in the TCR signaling pathway.
    Immunity 01/2006; 23(6):575-85. · 19.80 Impact Factor