CD40 belongs to the tumor necrosis factor (TNF) receptor family. CD40 signaling involves the recruitment of TNF receptor-associated factors (TRAFs) to its cytoplasmic domain. We have identified a novel intracellular CD40-binding protein termed TRAF and TNF receptor-associated protein (TTRAP) that also interacts with TNF-R75 and CD30. The region of the CD40 cytoplasmic domain that is required for TTRAP association overlaps with the TRAF6 recognition motif. Association of TTRAP with CD40 increases profoundly in response to treatment of cells with CD40L. Interestingly, TTRAP also associates with TRAFs, with the highest affinity for TRAF6. In transfected cells, TTRAP inhibits in a dose-dependent manner the transcriptional activation of a nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB)-dependent reporter mediated by CD40, TNF-R75 or Phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA) and to a lesser extent by TRAF2, TRAF6, TNF-alpha, or interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta). TTRAP does not affect stimulation of NF-kappaB induced by overexpression of the NF-kappaB-inducing kinase (NIK), the IkappaB kinase alpha (IKKalpha), or the NF-kappaB subunit P65/RelA, suggesting it acts upstream of the latter proteins. Our results indicate that we have isolated a novel regulatory factor that is involved in signal transduction by distinct members of the TNF receptor family.
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