The pro-apoptotic tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-receptor 1-associated death domain protein (TRADD) was initially identified as the central signaling adapter molecule of TNF-receptor 1 (TNFR1). Upon stimulation with the pro-inflammatory cytokine TNFα, TRADD is recruited to the activated TNFR1 by direct interaction between the death domains of both molecules. TRADD mediates TNFR1 activation of NF-κB and c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), as well as caspase-dependent apoptosis. Surprisingly, TRADD is also recruited by latent membrane protein 1 (LMP1), the major oncoprotein of the human Epstein-Barr tumor virus. By mimicking a constitutively active receptor, LMP1 is essential for B-cell transformation by the virus, activating NF-κB, phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase, JAK/STAT and mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling. In contrast to TNFR1, LMP1's interaction with TRADD is independent of a functional death domain. The unique structure of the LMP1-TRADD complex dictates an unusual type of TRADD-dependent NF-κB signaling and subverts TRADD's potential to induce apoptosis. This article provides an overview of TNFR1 and LMP1 signal transduction with a focus on TRADD's functions in apoptotic and transforming signaling, incorporating recent results from TRADD RNAi and knockout studies.
©2008 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin New York