Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.489, No.3, 287-292, 2017
NF-kappa B signaling and cell-fate decision induced by a fast-dissociating tumor necrosis factor mutant
Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) is a pluripotent inflammatory cytokine that can induce both the pro-survival nuclear factor kappa B (NF-KB) pathway and the pro-apoptotic caspase pathway. Selectively activating only one of the two pathways remains challenging. We used TNF mutants with different receptor binding kinetics to study their effects on NF-KB signaling dynamics and cell apoptosis. A TNF mutant, R1antTNF, which binds to TNFR1 with increased association and dissociation rates, induced NF-KB signaling with shorter response time and first peak duration. The short nuclear stay of NF-KB led to biased activation of downstream genes, favoring the fast response ones. At the same time, R1antTNF retains pro-apoptotic activity. At 10 ng/ml, R1antTNF selectively activated the pro-apoptotic pathway rather than the pro survival NF-KB pathway. Our study provides a new example for the emerging evidence that ligand-receptor binding kinetics play a key role in the selective activation of downstream pathways, which deserves more attention in future drug discovery and disease studies. (C) 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.