The current paradigm of noncanonical NF-κB signaling suggests that the loss of TRAF2, TRAF3 or cIAP1 and cIAP2 leads to stabilization of NF-κB-inducing kinase (NIK) to activate the noncanonical pathway. Although a crucial role of RIP1 in the TNFα-induced canonical NF-κB pathway has been well established, its involvement in noncanonical activation of NF-κB through the TNFR1 receptor, is unknown. Here we show that TNFα is capable of activating the noncanonical NF-κB pathway, but that activation of this pathway is negatively regulated by RIP1. In the absence of RIP1, TNFR1 stimulation leads to activation of the noncanonical NF-κB pathway through TRAF2 degradation, leading to NIK stabilization, IKKα phosphorylation and the processing of p100 to generate p52. Thus although RIP1−/− mouse embryonic fibroblasts are sensitive at early time points to cell death induced by TNFα, probably as a result of lack of canonical NF-κB activation, the late activation of the noncanonical NF-κB pathway protects the remaining cells from further cell death. The TNFR1-dependent noncanonical NF-κB activation in RIP1−/− cells suggests that there is functional interplay between the two NF-κB pathways during TNFR1 signaling, which might regulate the number and kinds of NF-κB transcription factors and thus finely control NF-κB-dependent gene transcription.
- Accepted October 14, 2010.