RSK2 is required for TRAF6 phosphorylation-mediated colon inflammation

Ke Yao, Sung Young Lee, Cong Peng, Do Young Lim, Hiroyuki Yamamoto, Joohyun Ryu, Tae Gyu Lim, Hanyong Chen, Guoguo Jin, Zhenjiang Zhao, Yaping Han, Wei Ya Ma, Ann M. Bode, Zigang Dong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Inflammation is a complex biological host reaction to tissue damage, infection and trauma. Extensive study of the inflammatory response has led to the identification of several protein kinases that are essential for signaling and could be potential therapeutic targets. The RSK family of kinases has multiple cellular functions. In our study, we found that RSK2 is a mediator for inflammation signaling and interacts with TRAF6. In vitro kinase assay results indicated that RSK2 strongly phosphorylates TRAF6 at serines 46, 47 and 48. Ectopic overexpression of TRAF6 or knocking down RSK2 expression confirmed that RSK2 is a positive regulator of TRAF6 K63 ubiquitination. TRAF6 is also required for RSK2 ubiquitination. TRAF6 bridges the TNF receptor superfamily and intracellular signaling for the induction of proinflammatory cytokines. We developed a colon inflammation model using RSK2 wild type (WT) and knockout (KO) mice. As expected, F4/80 and CD3 infiltration were significantly upregulated in WT mice compared to RSK2 KO mice. Furthermore, inflammation signaling, including Ikkα/β, p38 and JNKs, was dramatically upregulated in WT mice. Colon tissue immunoprecipitation results further confirmed that TRAF6 K63 ubiquitination was lower in RSK2 KO mice. Overall, these results indicate that phosphorylation of TRAF6 (S46, 47, 48) by RSK2 is required for TRAF6 K63 ubiquitination and inflammation signaling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3501-3513
Number of pages13
Issue number26
StatePublished - Jun 1 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgements We thank Simin Zhao and Todd Schuster for supporting experiments, Nicki Brickman and Dr. Tia Rai for assistance in submitting our manuscript (The Hormel Institute, University of Minnesota). This work was funded by The Hormel Foundation, National Institutes of Health grants CA166011, CA187027, CA196639 and NSF of Henan Province China No. 162300410337.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Macmillan Publishers Limited, part of Springer Nature.

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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