CARMA3 serves as a critical mediator of NF-κB in multiple signal transduction pathways

Brian Chandler Grabiner, The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston


The central dogma of molecular biology dictates that DNA is transcribed into RNA, which is later translated into protein. One of the early activators in this process is the transcription factor NF-κB. We have determined that an NF-κB inducer, CARMA3, is required for proper neural tube closure, similar to other NF-κB inducers. Using a genetic knockout of CARMA3, we demonstrated that it is required for Gαq-coupled GPCR-induced NF-κB activation. This is facilitated through a MAPK and IKK phosphorylation-independent mechanism, most likely by controlling NEMO-associated ubiquitination. We have also shown that CARMA3 is required for EGF and HRG-induced NF-κB activation. This activation requires the activity of both EGFR and HER2, as well as PKC. Again, we observed no defect in IKK phosphorylation, although we determined a clear defect in IKK activation. Finally, we have begun to determine the role of CARMA3 to both EGFR and HER2-induced tumorigenicity. By overexpressing a constitutive active mutant of HER2 in our CARMA3 WT and KO MEF cells, we have shown CARMA3 is important for HER2-driven soft agar colony growth. We have also shown that knockdown of endogenous CARMA3 in the EGFR-overexpressing A431 cell line abolishes EGF-induced NF-κB activation. These same cells have a dramatically reduced capacity to form colonies in soft agar as well. Using both mouse xenografts and a transgenic model of HER2-induced breast cancer, we have initiated studies which will help to determine the role of CARMA3 to in vivo tumorigenesis. Collectively, this work reveals novel roles for the CARMA3 protein in development, GPCR and EGFR/HER2 signaling. It also suggests that CARMA3 is involved in EGFR/HER2 mediated tumorigenesis, possibly indicating a novel therapeutic target for use in treatment of cancer.

Subject Area

Molecular biology

Recommended Citation

Grabiner, Brian Chandler, "CARMA3 serves as a critical mediator of NF-κB in multiple signal transduction pathways" (2008). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI3323570.