Inherited and de novo mutations in the CARD14 gene promote the development of psoriasis, an inflammatory disease of the skin. Caspase recruitment domain-containing protein 14 (CARD14) is a member of the CARMA protein family that includes the structurally related CARD11 adaptor that mediates NF-κB activation by antigen receptors. We investigated the mechanism by which CARD14 mutation in psoriasis activates NF-κB. In contrast with wild-type CARD14, CARD14E138A and CARD14G117S psoriasis mutants interacted constitutively with BCL10 and MALT1, and triggered BCL10- and MALT1-dependent activation of NF-κB in keratinocytes. These alterations disrupted the inhibitory effect of the CARD14 linker region (LR) on NF-κB activation by facilitating BCL10 binding. Therefore, psoriasis mutations activated CARD14 by a mechanism analogous to oncogenic CARD11 mutations in non-Hodgkin B cell lymphomas. CARD14E138A also stimulated MALT1 paracaspase activity and activated both ERK1/2 and p38α MAP kinases. Inhibition of MALT1 with mepazine reduced CARD14E138A-induced expression of specific psoriasis-associated transcripts in keratinocytes. Our results establish the mechanism whereby gain-of-function CARD14 variants, which induce psoriatic disease in affected individuals, activate pro-inflammatory signalling.

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