Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950)

DOK3 is required for IFN-β production by enabling TRAF3/TBK1 complex formation and IRF3 activation.

PMID 24929003


The downstream of kinase (DOK) family of adaptors is generally involved in the negative regulation of signaling pathways. DOK1, 2, and 3 were shown to attenuate TLR4 signaling by inhibiting Ras-ERK activation. In this study, we elucidated a novel role for DOK3 in IFN-β production. Macrophages lacking DOK3 were impaired in IFN-β synthesis upon influenza virus infection or polyinosinic-polyribocytidylic acid stimulation. In the absence of DOK3, the transcription factor IFN regulatory factor 3 was not phosphorylated and could not translocate to the nucleus to activate ifn-β gene expression. Interestingly, polyinosinic-polyribocytidylic acid-induced formation of the upstream TNFR-associated factor (TRAF) 3/TANK-binding kinase (TBK) 1 complex was compromised in dok3(-/-) macrophages. DOK3 was shown to bind TBK1 and was required for its activation. Furthermore, we demonstrated that overexpression of DOK3 and TBK1 could significantly enhance ifn-β promoter activity. DOK3 was also shown to bind TRAF3, and the binding of TRAF3 and TBK1 to DOK3 required the tyrosine-rich C-terminal domain of DOK3. We further revealed that DOK3 was phosphorylated by Bruton's tyrosine kinase. Hence, DOK3 plays a critical and positive role in TLR3 signaling by enabling TRAF3/TBK1 complex formation and facilitating TBK1 and IFN regulatory factor 3 activation and the induction of IFN-β production.