Gene Summary

Gene:IRAK2; interleukin 1 receptor associated kinase 2
Aliases: IRAK-2
Summary:IRAK2 encodes the interleukin-1 receptor-associated kinase 2, one of two putative serine/threonine kinases that become associated with the interleukin-1 receptor (IL1R) upon stimulation. IRAK2 is reported to participate in the IL1-induced upregulation of NF-kappaB. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:interleukin-1 receptor-associated kinase-like 2
Source:NCBIAccessed: 01 September, 2019


What does this gene/protein do?
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Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1994-2019)
Graph generated 02 September 2019 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

Mouse over the terms for more detail; many indicate links which you can click for dedicated pages about the topic.

Tag cloud generated 01 September, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (5)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Latest Publications: IRAK2 (cancer-related)

Smith MA, Choudhary GS, Pellagatti A, et al.
U2AF1 mutations induce oncogenic IRAK4 isoforms and activate innate immune pathways in myeloid malignancies.
Nat Cell Biol. 2019; 21(5):640-650 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Spliceosome mutations are common in myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) and acute myeloid leukaemia (AML), but the oncogenic changes due to these mutations have not been identified. Here a global analysis of exon usage in AML samples revealed distinct molecular subsets containing alternative spliced isoforms of inflammatory and immune genes. Interleukin-1 receptor-associated kinase 4 (IRAK4) was the dominant alternatively spliced isoform in MDS and AML and is characterized by a longer isoform that retains exon 4, which encodes IRAK4-long (IRAK4-L), a protein that assembles with the myddosome, results in maximal activation of nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of B cells (NF-κB) and is essential for leukaemic cell function. Expression of IRAK4-L is mediated by mutant U2 small nuclear RNA auxiliary factor 1 (U2AF1) and is associated with oncogenic signalling in MDS and AML. Inhibition of IRAK4-L abrogates leukaemic growth, particularly in AML cells with higher expression of the IRAK4-L isoform. Collectively, mutations in U2AF1 induce expression of therapeutically targetable 'active' IRAK4 isoforms and provide a genetic link to activation of chronic innate immune signalling in MDS and AML.

Xu Y, Liu H, Liu S, et al.
Genetic variant of IRAK2 in the toll-like receptor signaling pathway and survival of non-small cell lung cancer.
Int J Cancer. 2018; 143(10):2400-2408 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/11/2019 Related Publications
The toll-like receptor (TLR) signaling pathway plays an important role in the innate immune responses and antigen-specific acquired immunity. Aberrant activation of the TLR pathway has a significant impact on carcinogenesis or tumor progression. Therefore, we hypothesize that genetic variants in the TLR signaling pathway genes are associated with overall survival (OS) of patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). To test this hypothesis, we first performed Cox proportional hazards regression analysis to evaluate associations between genetic variants of 165 TLR signaling pathway genes and NSCLC OS using the genome-wide association study (GWAS) dataset from the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial (PLCO). The results were further validated by the Harvard Lung Cancer Susceptibility GWAS dataset. Specifically, we identified IRAK2 rs779901 C > T as a predictor of NSCLC OS, with a variant-allele (T) attributed hazards ratio (HR) of 0.78 [95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.67-0.91, P = 0.001] in the PLCO dataset, 0.84 (0.72-0.98, 0.031) in the Harvard dataset, and 0.81 (0.73-0.90, 1.08x10

Wu J, Jiang Z, Chen C, et al.
CircIRAK3 sponges miR-3607 to facilitate breast cancer metastasis.
Cancer Lett. 2018; 430:179-192 [PubMed] Related Publications
As a class of endogenous noncoding RNAs, circular RNAs (circRNAs) have been recently identified to regulate tumourigenesis and progression in multiple malignancies. However, the expression profiles and function of circRNAs in breast cancer metastasis are largely unknown. Here, we determined that the expression of a novel circRNA, which we named circIRAK3, was increased in metastatic breast cancer (BC) cells and predictive of BC recurrence. Gain-of-function and loss-of-function studies in BC cells demonstrated that circIRAK3 promoted cell migration, invasion and metastasis in vitro and in vivo but did not affect cell proliferation, colony formation or cell cycle progression. Using circIRAK3 in vivo precipitation and luciferase reporter assays, we identified miR-3607 as a circIRAK3-associated miRNA. Furthermore, RNA sequencing and bioinformatics analysis showed that forkhead box C1 (FOXC1), the target of miR-3607, was downregulated in circIRAK3-silenced cells and mediated circIRAK3-induced BC cell migration. Intriguingly, FOXC1 could, in turn, bind to the IRAK3 promoter, triggering a positive-feedback loop that perpetuated the circIRAK3/miR-3607/FOXC1 signaling axis. Collectively, our findings indicated that circIRAK3 may exert regulatory roles in BC metastasis and may be a potential target for metastatic BC therapy.

Hu Q, Song J, Ding B, et al.
miR-146a promotes cervical cancer cell viability via targeting IRAK1 and TRAF6.
Oncol Rep. 2018; 39(6):3015-3024 [PubMed] Related Publications
Cervical cancer is the third most common type of cancer in women, and microRNAs play an important role in this type of cancer. The elevated expression of miR-146a is involved in the pathogenesis of cancers generally, but its role in cervical cancer has not been fully elucidated. In the present study, we assessed the expression of miR-146a in G>C polymorphisms and confirmed that the overexpression of miR-146a promoted cervical cancer cell viability. The recombinant expression plasmids pre-miR-146a-G or pre-miR-146a-C including single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) were successfully constructed. Pre-miR-146a-G or pre-miR-146a-C was transfected into cervical cancer cells or immortalized non-tumorigenic cells and the expression of miR-146a was evaluated by real-time PCR. The cell viability, cell-cycle analysis and apoptosis were assessed using Cell Counting Kit-8 assay (CCK-8), flow cytometry and cleaved caspase-3 protein expression, respectively. The expression of interleukin 1 receptor associated kinase 1 (IRAK1), TNF receptor-associated factor 6 (TRAF6) and cyclin D1 was assessed following the transfection with a miR-146a mimic or a negative control. The cell viability and the number of S-phase cells increased after transfection with miR-146a mimic or an IRAK1 or TRAF6 interference fragment. After transfection, IRAK1 and TRAF6 protein expression was downregulated and the expression of cyclin D1 was upregulated, however apoptosis and cleaved caspase-3 were not affected. Polymorphisms in miR-146a precursor may be linked to the expression of miR-146a and may be a potential target for cervical cancer therapy.

Irigoyen A, Jimenez-Luna C, Benavides M, et al.
Integrative multi-platform meta-analysis of gene expression profiles in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma patients for identifying novel diagnostic biomarkers.
PLoS One. 2018; 13(4):e0194844 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/11/2019 Related Publications
Applying differentially expressed genes (DEGs) to identify feasible biomarkers in diseases can be a hard task when working with heterogeneous datasets. Expression data are strongly influenced by technology, sample preparation processes, and/or labeling methods. The proliferation of different microarray platforms for measuring gene expression increases the need to develop models able to compare their results, especially when different technologies can lead to signal values that vary greatly. Integrative meta-analysis can significantly improve the reliability and robustness of DEG detection. The objective of this work was to develop an integrative approach for identifying potential cancer biomarkers by integrating gene expression data from two different platforms. Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), where there is an urgent need to find new biomarkers due its late diagnosis, is an ideal candidate for testing this technology. Expression data from two different datasets, namely Affymetrix and Illumina (18 and 36 PDAC patients, respectively), as well as from 18 healthy controls, was used for this study. A meta-analysis based on an empirical Bayesian methodology (ComBat) was then proposed to integrate these datasets. DEGs were finally identified from the integrated data by using the statistical programming language R. After our integrative meta-analysis, 5 genes were commonly identified within the individual analyses of the independent datasets. Also, 28 novel genes that were not reported by the individual analyses ('gained' genes) were also discovered. Several of these gained genes have been already related to other gastroenterological tumors. The proposed integrative meta-analysis has revealed novel DEGs that may play an important role in PDAC and could be potential biomarkers for diagnosing the disease.

Cheng BY, Lau EY, Leung HW, et al.
IRAK1 Augments Cancer Stemness and Drug Resistance via the AP-1/AKR1B10 Signaling Cascade in Hepatocellular Carcinoma.
Cancer Res. 2018; 78(9):2332-2342 [PubMed] Related Publications
Frequent relapse and drug resistance in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) can be attributed to the existence of tumor-initiating cells (TIC) within the tumor bulk. Therefore, targeting liver TICs may improve the prognosis of these patients. From transcriptome sequencing of 16 pairs of clinical HCC samples, we report that interleukin-1 receptor-associated kinase 1 (IRAK1) in the TLR/IRAK pathway is significantly upregulated in HCC. IRAK1 overexpression in HCC was further confirmed at the mRNA and protein levels and correlated with advanced tumor stages and poor patient survival. Interestingly, IRAK4, an upstream regulator of IRAK1, was also consistently upregulated. IRAK1 regulated liver TIC properties, including self-renewal, tumorigenicity, and liver TIC marker expression. IRAK1 inhibition sensitized HCC cells to doxorubicin and sorafenib treatment

Jiang Z, Jiang J, Zhao B, et al.
CPNE1 silencing inhibits the proliferation, invasion and migration of human osteosarcoma cells.
Oncol Rep. 2018; 39(2):643-650 [PubMed] Related Publications
Osteosarcoma (OS) is the most common primary malignancy of the bone affecting children and adolescents. Copine 1 (CPNE1) is a highly conserved calcium-dependent phospholipid-binding protein and may function in regulating signal transduction and membrane trafficking. In the present study, we investigated CPNE1 expression in osteosarcoma tissues and cells, and studied the effects of small interfering RNA (siRNA)-targeting CPNE1 on proliferation, metastasis and chemosensitivity of the osteosarcoma cells. The results demonstrated that CPNE1 was highly expressed in the osteosarcoma tissues and cell lines. Moreover, functional investigations confirmed that CPNE1 knockdown significantly inhibited cell proliferation, colony formation, invasion and metastasis in Saos-2 and HOS cells. Western blot analysis indicated that CPNE1 silencing downregulated the expression of many proteins associated with tumorigenesis and development, including Ras, MEK-1/2, WNT1, β-catenin, cyclin A1, IRAK2 and cIAP2. In addition, CPNE1 downregulation enhanced the sensitivity of Saos-2 cells towards cisplatin and adriamycin. The present study provides deep insight into the clinical use of lentiviral-mediated CPNE1 silencing for osteosarcoma therapy.

Jordi M, Marty J, Mordasini V, et al.
IRAK4 is essential for TLR9-induced suppression of Epstein-Barr virus BZLF1 transcription in Akata Burkitt's lymphoma cells.
PLoS One. 2017; 12(10):e0186614 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/11/2019 Related Publications
Burkitt's lymphoma (BL) is the most common childhood cancer in equatorial Africa, and is endemic to areas where people are chronically co-infected with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and the malaria pathogen Plasmodium falciparum. The contribution of these pathogens in the oncogenic process remains poorly understood. We showed earlier that the activation of Toll-like receptor (TLR) 9 by hemozoin, a disposal product formed from the digestion of blood by P. falciparum, suppresses the lytic reactivation of EBV in BL cells. EBV lytic reactivation is regulated by the expression of transcription factor Zta (ZEBRA), encoded by the EBV gene BZLF1. Here, we explore in the BL cell line Akata, the mechanism involved in repression by TLR9 of expression of BZLF1. We show that BZLF1 repression is mediated upon TLR9 engagement by a mechanism that is largely independent of de novo protein synthesis. By CRISPR/Cas9-induced inactivation of TLR9, MyD88, IRAK4 and IRAK1 we confirm that BZLF1 repression is dependent on functional TLR9 and MyD88 signaling, and identify IRAK4 as an essential element for TLR9-induced repression of BZLF1 expression upon BCR cross-linking. Our results unprecedentedly show that TLR9-mediated inhibition of lytic EBV is largely independent of new protein synthesis and demonstrate the central roles of MyD88 and IRAK4 in this process contributing to EBV's persistence in the host's B-cell pool.

Qiu Z, Li H, Wang J, Sun C
miR-146a and miR-146b in the diagnosis and prognosis of papillary thyroid carcinoma.
Oncol Rep. 2017; 38(5):2735-2740 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/11/2019 Related Publications
The present study investigated the relationship between the expression of miR-146a and miR‑146b with the occurrence and prognosis of papillary thyroid carcinoma. Experiments in vitro were also used to explore the effect of the knocked down expression of the miRNAs on growth and migration of papillary thyroid carcinoma cells. A total of 73 patients with papillary thyroid carcinoma admitted to Yidu Central Hospital of Weifang from September 2013 to September 2015 were enrolled in the study. Carcinoma samples were obtained from each patient, and adjacent tissues were used as control samples to determine expression levels of miR-146a and miR146b by semi-quantitative RT-PCR. An analysis was conducted to find possible correlations between the miRNAs expression levels and clinicopathological features in the patients followed up for one year after diagnosis. Additionally, to examine the function of miR-146a and miR‑146b on TPC-1 cells, the expression of miRNAs was knocked down using specific siRNAs. MTT and Transwell assays were used to evaluate cell proliferation and migration, respectively, in the miRNA cell lines. Finally, western blot analysis was used to analyze the expression of IRAK1 in PTC cancer cells. Our results showed that the expression levels of miR-146a and miR-146b in carcinoma tissues were significantly higher than the levels in cancer-free tissues (p<0.01). The relative expression levels of miR-146a and miR-146b in cancerous tissues could be associated with the pathological type and presence or absence of lymph node metastasis (p<0.05). Compared with the siRNA-control cell, MTT and Transwell assays showed that the cell growth and migration of TPC-1 cells were decreased in miR-146a and miR-146b low expression cells (p<0.01). Western blot analysis showed that the expression of IRAK1 in papillary thyroid carcinoma was higher than in adjacent tissue (p<0.01). Based on our findings, the expression of miR-146a and miR-146b correlates with the occurrence and prognosis of papillary thyroid carcinoma, and the expression levels of miR-146a and miR-146b seem to affect the cell proliferation and migration and regulate the expression of IRAK1 protein in cancer cells. Further studies are needed to validate our results to provide new targets for prevention and treatment of papillary thyroid carcinoma.

Wang Y, Wang Y, Duan X, et al.
Interleukin-1 receptor-associated kinase 1 correlates with metastasis and invasion in endometrial carcinoma.
J Cell Biochem. 2018; 119(3):2545-2555 [PubMed] Related Publications
Endometrial carcinoma (EC) is one of the most common malignancies in the world. Previous studies have investigated the altered expression of interleukin-1 receptor-associated kinase 1 (IRAK1) in various cancers. We aimed at exploring the biological function and the underlying molecular mechanism of IRAK1 in EC. In this study, IRAK1 was found elevated in EC compared with normal tissues. Further, high IRAK1 expression level was correlated with higher tumor stage, lymph node metastasis, myometrial invasion, and lower survival rate. Knockdown of IRAK1 in two EC cell lines, HEC-1-B and JEC, significantly inhibited cell proliferation in vitro and in vivo. We also found that down-regulation of IRAK1 in EC cells notably induced cell cycle arrest and apoptois, and also inhibited cell migration and invasion. Gene set enrichment analysis on The Cancer Genome Atlas dataset showed that Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) mitotic cell cycle and cell division pathways were correlative with the IRAK1 expression, which was further confirmed in EC cells by Western blot. The expression of mitotic cell cycle (CDK1 and Cdc45) and cell division pathway (Cdc7 and MCM2) related factors was significantly suppressed by IRAK1 knockdown. These collective data indicated that IRAK1 overexpression promotes EC tumorigenesis by activating mitotic cell cycle and cell division pathways, and IRAK1 may serve as a promising therapeutic strategy for EC.

Castillo JJ, Hunter ZR, Yang G, Treon SP
Novel approaches to targeting MYD88 in Waldenström macroglobulinemia.
Expert Rev Hematol. 2017; 10(8):739-744 [PubMed] Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: Waldenström macroglobulinemia (WM) is an incurable lymphoma characterized by the accumulation of IgM-producing lymphoplasmacytic cells in the bone marrow and other organs. Although WM patients can experience prolonged remissions, the disease invariably recurs advocating for the need of novel treatments in order to achieve higher response and survival rates. The discovery of a recurrent mutation in the MYD88 gene and an increased understanding behind the biology of MYD88 signaling have provided the opportunity to developing novel agents targeting the MYD88 pathway. Areas covered: The present review focuses on potential therapies that could change the landscape of treatment of patients with WM, specifically focusing on inhibitors of the Bruton tyrosine kinase (BTK), phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase, hematopoietic cell kinase, interleukin-1 receptor associated kinase and MYD88 assembly. Expert commentary: Novel agents such as the BTK inhibitor ibrutinib has shown to be safe and highly effective in the treatment of WM. Ibrutinib has been approved in Europe and the United States for its use in patients with symptomatic WM. Prospective studies are ongoing and/or planned to study many other novel agents alone and in combination with aims at improving response, survival and quality of life in patients with WM.

Liang K, Volk AG, Haug JS, et al.
Therapeutic Targeting of MLL Degradation Pathways in MLL-Rearranged Leukemia.
Cell. 2017; 168(1-2):59-72.e13 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/11/2019 Related Publications
Chromosomal translocations of the mixed-lineage leukemia (MLL) gene with various partner genes result in aggressive leukemia with dismal outcomes. Despite similar expression at the mRNA level from the wild-type and chimeric MLL alleles, the chimeric protein is more stable. We report that UBE2O functions in regulating the stability of wild-type MLL in response to interleukin-1 signaling. Targeting wild-type MLL degradation impedes MLL leukemia cell proliferation, and it downregulates a specific group of target genes of the MLL chimeras and their oncogenic cofactor, the super elongation complex. Pharmacologically inhibiting this pathway substantially delays progression, and it improves survival of murine leukemia through stabilizing wild-type MLL protein, which displaces the MLL chimera from some of its target genes and, therefore, relieves the cellular oncogenic addiction to MLL chimeras. Stabilization of MLL provides us with a paradigm in the development of therapies for aggressive MLL leukemia and perhaps for other cancers caused by translocations.

Rothschild DE, Zhang Y, Diao N, et al.
Enhanced Mucosal Defense and Reduced Tumor Burden in Mice with the Compromised Negative Regulator IRAK-M.
EBioMedicine. 2017; 15:36-47 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/11/2019 Related Publications
Aberrant inflammation is a hallmark of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and colorectal cancer. IRAK-M is a critical negative regulator of TLR signaling and overzealous inflammation. Here we utilize data from human studies and Irak-m

Chou CK, Chi SY, Huang CH, et al.
IRAK1, a Target of miR-146b, Reduces Cell Aggressiveness of Human Papillary Thyroid Carcinoma.
J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2016; 101(11):4357-4366 [PubMed] Related Publications
CONTEXT: MicroRNA (miR)-146b is overexpressed in papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) and is associated with extrathyroidal invasion, advanced tumor stage, and poor prognosis. However, the underlying mechanism of miR-146b in relation to its oncogenic behavior in PTC and its putative targets remain unknown.
OBJECTIVE: The purpose was to investigate IL-1 receptor-associated kinase 1 (IRAK1) as the potential miR-146b target gene and its involvement in PTC.
DESIGN: We used genome-wide microarray, computational analysis, and 3' UTR reporter gene assays to identify IRAK1 as a miR-146b target gene. In vitro gain/loss-of-function experiments were further performed to determine the effects of IRAK1 on proliferation, colony formation, and wound-healing in PTC cancer cell lines. Expression levels of miR-146b and IRAK1 of 50 cases of PTC and its adjacent normal thyroid specimens were assessed via qRT-PCR.
RESULTS: Microarray expression profile revealed that the mRNA level of IRAK1 gene was down-regulated by miR-146b. The 3' UTR of IRAK1 mRNA was found to be a molecular target of miR-146b posttranscriptional repression in BCPAP cells by reporter gene assays. MiR-146b promoted the migration and proliferation of PTC cells by down-regulating IRAK1 expression, whereas restoration of IRAK1 expression reversed this effect. In addition, the expression of IRAK1 mRNA was significantly lower in PTC clinical tissue samples than normal adjacent thyroid specimens and showed a strong inverse correlation with the expression of miR-146b in PTC specimens.
CONCLUSION: Our results demonstrated that IRAK1 is a direct target of miR-146b and has functional roles to inhibit various aggressive PTC cell activities. In conjunction with current therapeutic regimens, targeting the miR-146b-IRAK1 axis may provide a potential approach for PTC management.

Zhang D, Li L, Jiang H, et al.
Constitutive IRAK4 Activation Underlies Poor Prognosis and Chemoresistance in Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma.
Clin Cancer Res. 2017; 23(7):1748-1759 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/11/2019 Related Publications

Li N, Jiang J, Fu J, et al.
Targeting interleukin-1 receptor-associated kinase 1 for human hepatocellular carcinoma.
J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2016; 35(1):140 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/11/2019 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Interleukin-1 receptor associated kinase 1 (IRAK1), as a down-stream of toll-like receptor (TLR) signaling, plays important roles in series of malignancies. However, the role of IRAK1 in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) remains little known.
METHODS: In our study, reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR), Western Blot, and immunohistochemical staining were used to assess the mRNA and protein levels of IRAK1 in clinical samples and cell lines. Cell counting assay and flow cytometry were employed to analyze the effect of IRAK1 on cell cycle and apoptosis. Transwell assay was used to study the role of IRAK1 in cell migration. Moreover, subcutaneous xenograft tumor models predict the efficacy of targeting IRAK1 against HCC in vivo.
RESULTS: IRAK1 was over-expressed in HCC tissues and cell lines. Suppression of IRAK1 by small interference RNA (siRNA) or a pharmaceutical IRAK1/4 inhibitor impeded cell growth, induced apoptosis and lessened HCC xenograft tumor growth. Particularly, IRAK1/4 inhibitor treatment caused G1/S cell cycle arrest and apoptosis, confirming IRAK1 as a new therapeutic target for HCC.
CONCLUSION: IRAK1 promotes cell proliferation and protects against apoptosis in HCC, and can be a novel target for HCC treatment.

Adams AK, Bolanos LC, Dexheimer PJ, et al.
IRAK1 is a novel DEK transcriptional target and is essential for head and neck cancer cell survival.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(41):43395-407 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/11/2019 Related Publications
The chromatin-binding DEK protein was recently reported to promote the growth of HPV+ and HPV- head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCCs). Relevant cellular and molecular mechanism(s) controlled by DEK in HNSCC remain poorly understood. While DEK is known to regulate specific transcriptional targets, global DEK-dependent gene networks in HNSCC are unknown. To identify DEK transcriptional signatures we performed RNA-Sequencing (RNA-Seq) in HNSCC cell lines that were either proficient or deficient for DEK. Bioinformatic analyses and subsequent validation revealed that IRAK1, a regulator of inflammatory signaling, and IRAK1-dependent regulatory networks were significantly repressed upon DEK knockdown in HNSCC. According to TCGA data, 14% of HNSCC specimens overexpressed IRAK1, thus supporting possible oncogenic functions. Furthermore, genetic or pharmacologic inhibition of IRAK1 in HNSCC cell lines was sufficient to attenuate downstream signaling such as ERK1/2 and to induce HNSCC cell death by apoptosis. Finally, targeting DEK and IRAK1 simultaneously enhanced cell death as compared to targeting either alone. Our findings reveal that IRAK1 promotes cell survival and is an attractive therapeutic target in HNSCC cells. Thus, we propose a model wherein IRAK1 stimulates tumor signaling and phenotypes both independently and in conjunction with DEK.

Wu C, Chen Y, Wang F, et al.
Pelle Modulates dFoxO-Mediated Cell Death in Drosophila.
PLoS Genet. 2015; 11(10):e1005589 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/11/2019 Related Publications
Interleukin-1 receptor-associated kinases (IRAKs) are crucial mediators of the IL-1R/TLR signaling pathways that regulate the immune and inflammation response in mammals. Recent studies also suggest a critical role of IRAKs in tumor development, though the underlying mechanism remains elusive. Pelle is the sole Drosophila IRAK homolog implicated in the conserved Toll pathway that regulates Dorsal/Ventral patterning, innate immune response, muscle development and axon guidance. Here we report a novel function of pll in modulating apoptotic cell death, which is independent of the Toll pathway. We found that loss of pll results in reduced size in wing tissue, which is caused by a reduction in cell number but not cell size. Depletion of pll up-regulates the transcription of pro-apoptotic genes, and triggers caspase activation and cell death. The transcription factor dFoxO is required for loss-of-pll induced cell death. Furthermore, loss of pll activates dFoxO, promotes its translocation from cytoplasm to nucleus, and up-regulates the transcription of its target gene Thor/4E-BP. Finally, Pll physically interacts with dFoxO and phosphorylates dFoxO directly. This study not only identifies a previously unknown physiological function of pll in cell death, but also shed light on the mechanism of IRAKs in cell survival/death during tumorigenesis.

Yu DS, Wu CL, Ping SY, et al.
Bacille Calmette-Guerin can induce cellular apoptosis of urothelial cancer directly through toll-like receptor 7 activation.
Kaohsiung J Med Sci. 2015; 31(8):391-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
Immunotherapy using bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG) instillation is the mainstay treatment modality for superficial urothelial cancer (UC) through toll-like receptor (TLR) activation of cognitive immune response. We investigated the roles of TLR7 in the activation of apoptosis in UC cells after BCG treatment. The in vitro cytotoxicity effect of BCG on UC cells was measured by a modified 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazo-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl tetrazolium assay. Expressions of TLR7 mRNA and protein in native UC cells prior to and after BCG treatment were analyzed using real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction and western blot methods. Phagocytotic processes after BCG treatment in UC cells were observed microscopically using a specific immunostain, subsequent cellular apoptosis-related signals induced by TLR7 were analyzed by western blot. Low-grade UC cells, TSGH8301, showed significant cellular death (4.23-fold higher than the high-grade UC cells T24 and J82) when treated with BCG and the BCG cytotoxicity was displayed in a dose-time-dependent manner. TSGH8301 cells had the highest content of TLR7 mRNA, 7.2- and 4.5-fold higher than that of T24 and J82 cells, respectively. TLR7 protein expression was also significantly increased in TSGH8301 cells. Phagocytosis-related markers, including beclin 1, ATG2, and LC3, were increased when TSGH8301 cells were treated by BCG. Interleukin-1 receptor-associated kinases 2 and 4 were also increased markedly in TSGH8301 cells. On the contrary, cellular apoptosis of TSGH8301 cells decreased by 34% when TLR7 activation was suppressed by the TLR antagonist IRS661 after BCG treatment. Our findings suggest that well differentiated TCC cells have higher expression of TLR7 and BCG can drive cellular death of TCC cells directly via TLR7 activation and related apoptotic pathway.

Fűri I, Kalmár A, Wichmann B, et al.
Cell Free DNA of Tumor Origin Induces a 'Metastatic' Expression Profile in HT-29 Cancer Cell Line.
PLoS One. 2015; 10(7):e0131699 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/11/2019 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Epithelial cells in malignant conditions release DNA into the extracellular compartment. Cell free DNA of tumor origin may act as a ligand of DNA sensing mechanisms and mediate changes in epithelial-stromal interactions.
AIMS: To evaluate and compare the potential autocrine and paracrine regulatory effect of normal and malignant epithelial cell-related DNA on TLR9 and STING mediated pathways in HT-29 human colorectal adenocarcinoma cells and normal fibroblasts.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: DNA isolated from normal and tumorous colonic epithelia of fresh frozen surgically removed tissue samples was used for 24 and 6 hour treatment of HT-29 colon carcinoma and HDF-α fibroblast cells. Whole genome mRNA expression analysis and qRT-PCR was performed for the elements/members of TLR9 signaling pathway. Immunocytochemistry was performed for epithelial markers (i.e. CK20 and E-cadherin), DNA methyltransferase 3a (DNMT3a) and NFκB (for treated HDFα cells).
RESULTS: Administration of tumor derived DNA on HT29 cells resulted in significant (p<0.05) mRNA level alteration in 118 genes (logFc≥1, p≤0.05), including overexpression of metallothionein genes (i.e. MT1H, MT1X, MT1P2, MT2A), metastasis-associated genes (i.e. TACSTD2, MACC1, MALAT1), tumor biomarker (CEACAM5), metabolic genes (i.e. INSIG1, LIPG), messenger molecule genes (i.e. DAPP, CREB3L2). Increased protein levels of CK20, E-cadherin, and DNMT3a was observed after tumor DNA treatment in HT-29 cells. Healthy DNA treatment affected mRNA expression of 613 genes (logFc≥1, p≤0.05), including increased expression of key adaptor molecules of TLR9 pathway (e.g. MYD88, IRAK2, NFκB, IL8, IL-1β), STING pathway (ADAR, IRF7, CXCL10, CASP1) and the FGF2 gene.
CONCLUSIONS: DNA from tumorous colon epithelium, but not from the normal epithelial cells acts as a pro-metastatic factor to HT-29 cells through the overexpression of pro-metastatic genes through TLR9/MYD88 independent pathway. In contrast, DNA derived from healthy colonic epithelium induced TLR9 and STING signaling pathway in normal fibroblasts.

Dussiau C, Trinquand A, Lhermitte L, et al.
Targeting IRAK1 in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(22):18956-65 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/11/2019 Related Publications
T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) represents expansion of cells arrested at specific stages of thymic development with the underlying genetic abnormality often determining the stage of maturation arrest. Although their outcome has been improved with current therapy, survival rates remain only around 50% at 5 years and patients may therefore benefit from specific targeted therapy. Interleukin receptor associated kinase 1 (IRAK1) is a ubiquitously expressed serine/threonine kinase that mediates signaling downstream to Toll-like (TLR) and Interleukin-1 Receptors (IL1R). Our data demonstrated that IRAK1 is overexpressed in all subtypes of T-ALL, compared to normal human thymic subpopulations, and is functional in T-ALL cell lines. Genetic knock-down of IRAK1 led to apoptosis, cell cycle disruption, diminished proliferation and reversal of corticosteroid resistance in T-ALL cell lines. However, pharmacological inhibition of IRAK1 using a small molecule inhibitor (IRAK1/4-Inh) only partially reproduced the results of the genetic knock-down. Altogether, our data suggest that IRAK1 is a candidate therapeutic target in T-ALL and highlight the requirement of next generation IRAK1 inhibitors.

Kuo CC, Shih YL, Su HY, et al.
Methylation of IRAK3 is a novel prognostic marker in hepatocellular carcinoma.
World J Gastroenterol. 2015; 21(13):3960-9 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/11/2019 Related Publications
AIM: To examine the methylation levels of interleukin-1 receptor-associated kinase 3 (IRAK3) and GLOXD1 and their potential clinical applications in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
METHODS: mRNA expression and promoter methylation of IRAK3 and GLOXD1 in HCC cells were analyzed by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and methylation-specific PCR (MSP), respectively. Using pyrosequencing results, we further established a quantitative MSP (Q-MSP) system for the evaluation of IRAK3 and GLOXD1 methylation in 29 normal controls and 160 paired HCC tissues and their adjacent nontumor tissues. We also calculated Kaplan-Meier survival curves to determine the applications of gene methylation in the prognosis of HCC.
RESULTS: IRAK3 and GLOXD1 expression was partially restored in several HCC cell lines after treatment with 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine (DNA methyltransferase inhibitor; 5DAC). A partial decrease in the methylated band was also observed in the HCC cell lines after 5DAC treatment. Using GLOXD1 as an example, we found a significant correlation between the data obtained from the methylation array and from pyrosequencing. The methylation frequency of IRAK3 and GLOXD1 in HCC tissues was 46.9% and 63.8%, respectively. Methylation of IRAK3 was statistically associated with tumor stage. Moreover, HCC patients with IRAK3 methylation had a trend toward poor 3-year disease-free survival (P < 0.05).
CONCLUSION: IRAK3 and GLOXD1 were frequently methylated in HCC tissues compared to normal controls and nontumor tissues. IRAK3 methylation was associated with tumor stage and poor prognosis of patients. These data suggest that IRAK3 methylation is a novel prognostic marker in HCC.

Lee KH, Jang AH, Yoo CG
17-Allylamino-17-Demethoxygeldanamycin and the Enhancement of PS-341-Induced Lung Cancer Cell Death by Blocking the NF-κB and PI3K/Akt Pathways.
Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2015; 53(3):412-21 [PubMed] Related Publications
PS-341 is a highly selective and potent proteasome inhibitor that is cytotoxic to various types of cancer. However, no objective response was seen in a clinical trial with PS-341 as a single agent in non-small cell lung cancer. Its antitumor activity is limited by the simultaneously activated antiapoptosis pathway. Recently, PS-341-induced NF-κB activation via IκBα degradation has been suggested to be one of its antiapoptotic effects. In this study, we investigated the effects of a combined application of the heat shock protein (Hsp) 90 inhibitor 17-allylamino-17-demethoxygeldanamycin (17-AAG) with PS-341 in lung cancer cells. Hsp90 inhibition with 17-AAG was effective in enhancing PS-341-induced lung cancer cell death in vitro and in vivo. 17-AAG pretreatment induced the degradation of upstream regulators of IκB, IL-1R-associated kinase-1 (IRAK-1), and IκB kinases (IKKs), dose and time dependently, which resulted in blocking of PS-341-induced IκBα degradation, p65 nuclear translocation, transcriptional activity, and NF-κB-regulated antiapoptotic gene expressions such as COX-2. The concentrations of 17-AAG used for combinatorial treatment with PS-341 did not change cell viability or the activity of proteasome complex. Moreover, 17-AAG pretreatment decreased the level of phsophorylated Akt at serine 473 residue and suppressed active Akt-dependent inactivation of glycogen synthase kinase 3β. 17-AAG mediated the dissociation of its client proteins (IRAK-1, IKKs, and Akt) from the Hsp90 complex. As a result, it induced degradation of target proteins. Our results suggest that the combination of 17-AAG and PS-341 could be an effective anticancer therapy that overcomes the limited effects of PS-341.

Zhang X, Dang Y, Li P, et al.
Expression of IRAK1 in lung cancer tissues and its clinicopathological significance: a microarray study.
Int J Clin Exp Pathol. 2014; 7(11):8096-104 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/11/2019 Related Publications
The interleukin-1 receptor associated kinases 1 (IRAK1) is a down stream effector molecule of the toll like receptor (TLR) signaling pathway, which is involved in inflammation, autoimmunity and cancer. However, the role of IRAK1 in lung cancer remains unclarified. Herein, we investigated the protein expression and the clinicopathological significance of IRAK1 in 3 formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded lung cancer tissue microarrays by using immunohistochemistry, which included 365 tumor and 30 normal lung tissues. We found that the expression of IRAK1 in lung cancer was significantly higher compared with that in normal lung tissues (P=0.002). Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves were generated to evaluate the power of IRAK1 to distinguish lung cancer from non-cancerous lung tissue. The area under curve (AUC) of ROC of IRAK1 was 0.643 (95% CI 0.550~0.735, P=0.009). Additionally, IRAK1 expression was related to clinical TNM stage (r=0.241, P < 0.001), lymph node metastasis (r=0.279, P < 0.001) and tumor size (r=0.299, P < 0.001) in lung cancer. In the subgroup of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and small cell lung cancer (SCLC), the positive rates of IRAK1 were both higher than that in the normal lung tissues (P=0.003, P=0.002, respectively). Further spearman analysis showed that IRAK1 protein in NSCLC was positive correlated with clinical TNM stage (r=0.222, P < 0.001), lymph node metastasis (r=0.277, P < 0.001), tumor size (r=0.292, P < 0.001) and distal metastasis (r=0.110, P=0.043). In conclusion, the expression of IRAK1 protein might be valuable in identifying patients with increased risks of lung cancer and might act as a target for diagnosis and gene therapy for lung cancer.

Jurado-Camino T, Córdoba R, Esteban-Burgos L, et al.
Chronic lymphocytic leukemia: a paradigm of innate immune cross-tolerance.
J Immunol. 2015; 194(2):719-27 [PubMed] Related Publications
Infections are a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). The pathogenesis of infections is multifactorial and includes hypogammaglobulinemia, conventional therapy with alkylating drugs, and recently, purine analogs and mAb-associated T cells. Patients without these risk factors also suffer from infections, although the mechanism remains unknown. In a cohort of 70 patients with CLL, we demonstrated that their monocytes were locked into a refractory state and were unable to mount a classic inflammatory response to pathogens. In addition, they exhibited the primary features of endotoxin tolerance, including low cytokine production, high phagocytic activity, and impaired Ag presentation. The involvement of miR-146a in this phenomenon was suspected. We found miR-146a target genes, such as IRAK1 and TRAF6, were manifestly downregulated. Our study provides a new explanation for infections in patients with CLL and describes a cross-tolerance between endotoxins and tumors.

Su B, Luo T, Zhu J, et al.
Interleukin-1β/Iinterleukin-1 receptor-associated kinase 1 inflammatory signaling contributes to persistent Gankyrin activation during hepatocarcinogenesis.
Hepatology. 2015; 61(2):585-97 [PubMed] Related Publications
UNLABELLED: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a prototype of inflammation-associated cancer. Oncoprotein Gankyrin, which mostly increases in HCC, plays a critical role in HCC development and metastasis. However, the exact mechanism of Gankyrin up-regulation in HCC remains unclear. A Gankyrin luciferase reporter was developed to screen a potential regulator for Gankyrin from a list of proinflammatory cytokines, and interleukin (IL)-1β was found as one of its activators. In clinical premalignant and malignant liver disease samples, enhanced IL-1β/interleukin-1 receptor-associated kinase 1 (IRAK-1) signaling accompanied by increased Gankyrin was observed. Lower expression of Gankyrin and phospho-IRAK-1 are favorable prognostic markers for HCC. A similar correlation was observed in the diethylnitrosamine (DEN) model of rat hepatocarcinogenesis. The results from Gankyrin reporter activity, real-time polymerase chain reaction, or immunoblotting further confirmed the up-regulation of Gankyrin by IL-1β/IRAK-1 inflammatory signaling. Moreover, a series of Gankyrin's truncated reporters were constructed, and electrophoretic mobility shift assay (EMSA) and chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) were performed to analyze the properties of Gankyrin promoter. Mechanistically, the core promoter of Gankyrin contains the binding site of nuclear factor Y (NF-Y) family members, which can recruit histone acetyltransferase coactivator E1A-binding protein p300 (p300) or CREB-binding protein (CBP) to promote Gankyrin transcription. Conversely, knockdown of NF-Y, p300, or CBP inhibits Gankyrin expression. IL-1β stimulation causes sequential phosphorylation of IRAK-1, c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), and p300 and enhances recruitment of the p300/CBP/NF-Y complex to Gankyrin promoter. Inhibition of phospho-JNK impairs IL-1β/IRAK-1 signaling-mediated up-regulation of Gankyrin.
CONCLUSION: The finding of IL-1β/IRAK-1 signaling promoting Gankyrin expression through JNK and NF-Y/p300/CBP complex provides a fresh view on inflammation-enhanced hepatocarcinogenesis.

Rhyasen GW, Starczynowski DT
IRAK signalling in cancer.
Br J Cancer. 2015; 112(2):232-7 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/11/2019 Related Publications
Innate immune signalling has an essential role in inflammation, and the dysregulation of signalling components of this pathway is increasingly being recognised as an important mediator in cancer initiation and progression. In some malignancies, dysregulation of inflammatory toll-like receptor (TLR) and interleukin-1 receptor (IL1R) signalling is typified by increased NF-κB activity, and it occurs through somatic mutations, chromosomal deletions, and/or transcriptional deregulation. Interleukin-1 receptor-associated kinase (IRAK) family members are mediators of TLR/IL1R superfamily signalling, and mounting evidence implicates these kinases as viable cancer targets. Although there have been previous efforts aimed at the development of IRAK kinase inhibitors, this is currently an area of renewed interest for cancer drug development.

Seol HS, Akiyama Y, Shimada S, et al.
Epigenetic silencing of microRNA-373 to epithelial-mesenchymal transition in non-small cell lung cancer through IRAK2 and LAMP1 axes.
Cancer Lett. 2014; 353(2):232-41 [PubMed] Related Publications
The role of microRNAs (miRNAs) in carcinogenesis as tumor suppressors or oncogenes has been widely reported. Epigenetic change is one of the mechanisms of transcriptional silencing of miRNAs in cancer. To identify lung cancer-related miRNAs that are mediated by histone modification, we conducted microarray analysis in the Calu-6 non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cell line after treatment with suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid (SAHA), a histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor. The expression level of miR-373 was enhanced by SAHA treatment in this cell line by microarray and the following quantitative RT-PCR analyses. Treatment with another HDAC inhibitor, Trichostatin A, restored the levels of miR-373 expression in A549 and Calu-6 cells, while demethylation drug treatment did not. Importantly, miR-373 was found to be down-regulated in NSCLC tissues and cell lines. Transfection of miR-373 into A549 and Calu-6 cells attenuated cell proliferation, migration, and invasion and reduced the expression of mesenchymal markers. Additional microarray analysis of miR-373-transfected cells and computational predictions identified IRAK2 and LAMP1 as targets of miR-373. Knockdown of these two genes showed similar biological effects to those of miR-373 overexpression. In clinical samples, overexpression of IRAK2 correlated with decreased disease-free survival of patients with non-adenocarcinoma. In conclusion, we found that miR-373 is silenced by histone modification in lung cancer cells and identified its function as a tumor suppressor and negative regulator of the mesenchymal phenotype through downstream IRAK2 and LAMP1 target genes.

Kalinski T, Sel S, Hütten H, et al.
Curcumin blocks interleukin-1 signaling in chondrosarcoma cells.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(6):e99296 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/11/2019 Related Publications
Interleukin (IL)-1 signaling plays an important role in inflammatory processes, but also in malignant processes. The essential downstream event in IL-1 signaling is the activation of nuclear factor (NF)-κB, which leads to the expression of several genes that are involved in cell proliferation, invasion, angiogenesis and metastasis, among them VEGF-A. As microenvironment-derived IL-1β is required for invasion and angiogenesis in malignant tumors, also in chondrosarcomas, we investigated IL-1β-induced signal transduction and VEGF-A expression in C3842 and SW1353 chondrosarcoma cells. We additionally performed in vitro angiogenesis assays and NF-κB-related gene expression analyses. Curcumin is a substance which inhibits IL-1 signaling very early by preventing the recruitment of IL-1 receptor associated kinase (IRAK) to the IL-1 receptor. We demonstrate that IL-1 signaling and VEGF-A expression are blocked by Curcumin in chondrosarcoma cells. We further show that Curcumin blocks IL-1β-induced angiogenesis and NF-κB-related gene expression. We suppose that IL-1 blockade is an additional treatment option in chondrosarcoma, either by Curcumin, its derivatives or other IL-1 blocking agents.

Martínez-Trillos A, Pinyol M, Navarro A, et al.
Mutations in TLR/MYD88 pathway identify a subset of young chronic lymphocytic leukemia patients with favorable outcome.
Blood. 2014; 123(24):3790-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
Mutations in Toll-like receptor (TLR) and myeloid differentiation primary response 88 (MYD88) genes have been found in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) at low frequency. We analyzed the incidence, clinicobiological characteristics, and outcome of patients with TLR/MYD88 mutations in 587 CLL patients. Twenty-three patients (3.9%) had mutations, 19 in MYD88 (one with concurrent IRAK1 mutation), 2 TLR2 (one with concomitant TLR6 mutation), 1 IRAK1, and 1 TLR5. No mutations were found in IRAK2 and IRAK4. TLR/MYD88-mutated CLL overexpressed genes of the nuclear factor κB pathway. Patients with TLR/MYD88 mutations were significantly younger (83% age ≤50 years) than those with no mutations. TLR/MYD88 mutations were the most frequent in young patients. Patients with mutated TLR/MYD88 CLL had a higher frequency of mutated IGHV and low expression of CD38 and ZAP-70. Overall survival (OS) was better in TLR/MYD88-mutated than unmutated patients in the whole series (10-year OS, 100% vs 62%; P = .002), and in the subset of patients age ≤50 years (100% vs 70%; P = .02). In addition, relative OS of TLR/MYD88-mutated patients was similar to that in the age- and gender-matched population. In summary, TLR/MYD88 mutations identify a population of young CLL patients with favorable outcome.

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