TRIM38 Negatively Regulates TLR3-Mediated IFN-beta Signaling by Targeting TRIF for Degradation

Toll-like receptors (TLRs) mediated immune response is crucial for combating pathogens and must be tightly controlled. Tripartite motif (TRIM) proteins are a family of proteins that is involved in a variety of biological and physiological processes. Some members of the TRIM family are important in the regulation of innate immunity. Although it has been shown that TRIM38 negatively regulates innate immunity, the mechanisms by which it does so have not been fully addressed. In this study, we demonstrated that TRIM38 negatively regulates Toll-like receptor 3 (TLR3)-mediated type I interferon signaling by targeting TIR domain-containing adaptor inducing IFN-b (TRIF). We found that overexpression of TRIM38 inhibits TLR3- mediated type I interferon signaling, whereas knockdown of TRIM38 has the reverse effects. We further showed that TRIM38 targets TRIF, a critical adaptor protein downstream of TLR3. TRIF is co-immunoprecipitated with TRIM38, and domain mapping experiments show that PRYSPRY of TRIM38 interacts with the N-terminus of TRIF. Overexpression of TRIM38 decreased expression of overexpressed and endogenous TRIF. This effect could be inhibited by MG132 treatment. Furthermore, the RING/B-box domain of TRIM38 is critical for K48-linked polyubiquitination and proteasomal degradation of TRIF. Collectively, our results suggest that TRIM38 may act as a novel negative regulator for TLR3-mediated type I interferon signaling by targeting TRIF for degradation.

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