Boutaffala L, Bertrand MJ, Remouchamps C, Seleznik G, Reisinger F, Janas M, Bénézech C, Fernandes MT, Marchetti S, Mair F, Ganeff C, Hupalowska A, Ricci JE, Becher B, Piette J, Knolle P, Caamano J, Vandenabeele P, Heikenwalder M, Dejardin E
Cell Death Differ. 2015 Jun;
NF-κB-inducing kinase (NIK) is well-known for its role in promoting p100/NF-κB2 processing into p52, a process defined as the alternative, or non-canonical, NF-κB pathway. Here we reveal an unexpected new role of NIK in TNFR1-mediated RIP1-dependent apoptosis, a consequence of TNFR1 activation observed in c-IAP1/2-depleted conditions. We show that NIK stabilization, obtained by activation of the non-death TNFRs Fn14 or LTβR, is required for TNFα-mediated apoptosis. These apoptotic stimuli trigger the depletion of c-IAP1/2, the phosphorylation of RIP1 and the RIP1 kinase-dependent assembly of the RIP1/FADD/caspase-8 complex. In the absence of NIK, the phosphorylation of RIP1 and the formation of RIP1/FADD/caspase-8 complex are compromised while c-IAP1/2 depletion is unaffected. In vitro kinase assays revealed that recombinant RIP1 is a bona fide substrate of NIK. In vivo, we demonstrated the requirement of NIK pro-death function, but not the processing of its substrate p100 into p52, in a mouse model of TNFR1/LTβR-induced thymus involution. In addition, we also highlight a role for NIK in hepatocyte apoptosis in a mouse model of virus-induced TNFR1/RIP1-dependent liver damage. We conclude that NIK not only contributes to lymphoid organogenesis, inflammation and cell survival but also to TNFR1/RIP1-dependent cell death independently of the alternative NF-κB pathway.Cell Death and Differentiation advance online publication, 5 June 2015; doi:10.1038/cdd.2015.69.