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A relatively unexplored nexus in Drosophila Immune deficiency (IMD) pathway is TGF-beta Activating Kinase 1 (TAK1), which triggers both immunity and apoptosis. In a cell culture screen, we identified that Lysine at position 142 was a K63-linked Ubiquitin acceptor site for TAK1, required for signalling. Moreover, Lysine at position 156 functioned as a K48-linked Ubiquitin acceptor site, also necessary for TAK1 activity. The deubiquitinase Trabid interacted with TAK1, reducing immune signalling output and K63-linked ubiquitination. The three tandem Npl4 Zinc Fingers and the catalytic Cysteine at position 518 were required for Trabid activity. Flies deficient for Trabid had a reduced life span due to chronic activation of IMD both systemically as well as in their gut where homeostasis was disrupted. The TAK1-associated Binding Protein 2 (TAB2) was linked with the TAK1-Trabid interaction through its Zinc finger domain that pacified the TAK1 signal. These results indicate an elaborate and multi-tiered mechanism for regulating TAK1 activity and modulating its immune signal.

Original publication




Journal article


PLoS Genet

Publication Date





Animals, Apoptosis, Drosophila, Drosophila Proteins, Endopeptidases, Lysine, MAP Kinase Kinase Kinases, NF-kappa B, Signal Transduction, Ubiquitin, Ubiquitin-Specific Proteases, Ubiquitination