Gene Summary

Gene:IKBKE; inhibitor of kappa light polypeptide gene enhancer in B-cells, kinase epsilon
Aliases: IKKE, IKKI, IKK-E, IKK-i
Summary:IKBKE is a noncanonical I-kappa-B (see MIM 164008) kinase (IKK) that is essential for regulating antiviral signaling pathways. IKBKE has also been identified as a breast cancer (MIM 114480) oncogene and is amplified and overexpressed in over 30% of breast carcinomas and breast cancer cell lines (Hutti et al., 2009 [PubMed 19481526]).[supplied by OMIM, Oct 2009]
Databases:OMIM, VEGA, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:inhibitor of nuclear factor kappa-B kinase subunit epsilon
Source:NCBIAccessed: 17 August, 2015


What does this gene/protein do?
Show (23)
Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
Show (2)

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1990-2015)
Graph generated 17 August 2015 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.

  • Protein Binding
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases
  • Messenger RNA
  • TNF
  • Cell Survival
  • Apoptosis
  • Chromosome 1
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Transcription Factors
  • Urokinase-Type Plasminogen Activator
  • I-kappa B Proteins
  • Transcription
  • Down-Regulation
  • I-kappa B Kinase
  • Transcriptional Activation
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • RNA Interference
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Lung Cancer
  • Neoplastic Cell Transformation
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • Breast Cancer
  • Phosphorylation
  • NF-kappa B
  • AKT1
  • Cell Division
  • Enzyme Activation
  • Western Blotting
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Promoter Regions
  • MicroRNAs
  • Transfection
  • Tobacco
  • Cyclin D1
  • Transcription Factor AP-1
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Signal Transduction
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
Tag cloud generated 17 August, 2015 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (3)

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: IKBKE (cancer-related)

Tian Y, Hao S, Ye M, et al.
MicroRNAs let-7b/i suppress human glioma cell invasion and migration by targeting IKBKE directly.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2015; 458(2):307-12 [PubMed] Related Publications
We demonstrated that IKBKE is overexpressed in human gliomas and that the downregulation of IKBKE markedly inhibits the proliferative and invasive abilities of glioma cells, which is consistent with the results reported by several different research groups. Therefore, IKBKE represents a promising therapeutic target for the treatment of glioma. In the present study, we verified that the microRNAs let-7b and let-7i target IKBKE through luciferase assays and found that let-7b/i mimics can knock down IKBKE and upregulate E-cadherin through western blot analysis. Moreover, the expression levels of let-7b/i were significantly lower in glioma cell lines than that in normal brain tissues, as determined by quantitative real-time PCR. Furthermore, let-7b/i inhibit the invasion and migration of glioma cells, as determined through wound healing and Transwell assays. The above-mentioned data suggest that let-7b/i inhibit the invasive ability of glioma cells by directly downregulating IKBKE and indirectly upregulating E-cadherin.

Ku X, Heinzlmeir S, Liu X, et al.
A new chemical probe for quantitative proteomic profiling of fibroblast growth factor receptor and its inhibitors.
J Proteomics. 2014; 96:44-55 [PubMed] Related Publications
UNLABELLED: Recent advances in mass spectrometry-based chemical proteomics allow unbiased analysis of drug-target interactions under close to physiological conditions. In this study, we designed and synthesized two small molecule probes targeting fibroblast growth factor receptors (FGFRs) and applied them to evaluate the selectivity profiles of the FGFR inhibitors Dovitinib and Orantinib. Probe F2 was capable of enriching all members of the FGF receptor family as well as other kinases involved in cancer such as KDR, FLT4 and RET from lysates of cancer cells or human placenta tissue. In combination with the established Kinobeads™ approach, probe F2 facilitated the identification of the target spectrum of the two inhibitors confirming many of the previously identified (off-) targets such as AURKA, FLT4-VEGFR3, IKBKE and PDGFRβ. The newly synthesized probe enlarges the arsenal of chemical proteomic tools for the expression profiling of kinases and selectivity profiling of their inhibitors. It will also be useful in applications aiming at a better understanding of a drug's cellular mechanisms of action as well as highlighting potential beneficial or adverse side effects.
BIOLOGICAL SIGNIFICANCE: The synthesis of a new chemical affinity probe targeting FGF-receptors and many other kinases improved the general scope of drug selectivity profiling by chemical proteomics. The application of the developed chemical tool identified most of the known targets for the advanced clinical kinase inhibitors Dovitinib and Orantinib thus exemplify the practical utility of the developed probe and the results obtained shed further light on how these drugs exert their anti-cancer activity in cells. More generally speaking, the significance of the work is that the molecular tools presented here extend the application scope of kinobeads based kinase profiling to FGFR/VEGFR/PDGFR families, which thus may be generically employed for selectivity profiling of kinase inhibitors using chemical proteomics. The overall aim of such studies is to improve our understanding of how target as well as off-target profiles can be used to assess or predict the therapeutic efficacy of a drug.

Elton TS, Selemon H, Elton SM, Parinandi NL
Regulation of the MIR155 host gene in physiological and pathological processes.
Gene. 2013; 532(1):1-12 [PubMed] Related Publications
MicroRNAs (miRNAs), a family of small nonprotein-coding RNAs, play a critical role in posttranscriptional gene regulation by acting as adaptors for the miRNA-induced silencing complex to inhibit gene expression by targeting mRNAs for translational repression and/or cleavage. miR-155-5p and miR-155-3p are processed from the B-cell Integration Cluster (BIC) gene (now designated, MIR155 host gene or MIR155HG). MiR-155-5p is highly expressed in both activated B- and T-cells and in monocytes/macrophages. MiR-155-5p is one of the best characterized miRNAs and recent data indicate that miR-155-5p plays a critical role in various physiological and pathological processes such as hematopoietic lineage differentiation, immunity, inflammation, viral infections, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and Down syndrome. In this review we summarize the mechanisms by which MIR155HG expression can be regulated. Given that the pathologies mediated by miR-155-5p result from the over-expression of this miRNA it may be possible to therapeutically attenuate miR-155-5p levels in the treatment of several pathological processes.

Guo J, Kim D, Gao J, et al.
IKBKE is induced by STAT3 and tobacco carcinogen and determines chemosensitivity in non-small cell lung cancer.
Oncogene. 2013; 32(2):151-9 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Serine/threonine kinase IKBKE is a newly identified oncogene; however, its regulation remains elusive. Here, we provide evidence that IKBKE is a downstream target of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) and that tobacco components induce IKBKE expression through STAT3. Ectopic expression of constitutively active STAT3 increased IKBKE mRNA and protein levels, whereas inhibition of STAT3 reduced IKBKE expression. Furthermore, expression levels of IKBKE are significantly associated with STAT3 activation and tobacco use history in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients examined. In addition, we show induction of IKBKE by two components of cigarette smoke, nicotine and nicotine-derived nitrosamine ketone (NNK). Upon exposure to nicotine or NNK, cells express high levels of IKBKE protein and mRNA, which are largely abrogated by inhibition of STAT3. Characterization of the IKBKE promoter revealed two STAT3-response elements. The IKBKE promoter directly bound to STAT3 and responded to nicotine and NNK stimulation. Notably, enforcing expression of IKBKE induces chemoresistance, whereas knockdown of IKBKE not only sensitizes NSCLC cells to chemotherapy but also abrogates STAT3- and nicotine-induced cell survival. These data indicate for the first time that IKBKE is a direct target of STAT3 and is induced by tobacco carcinogens through STAT3 pathway. In addition, our study also suggests that IKBKE is an important therapeutic target and could have a pivotal role in tobacco-associated lung carcinogenesis.

Mahajan K, Mahajan NP
PI3K-independent AKT activation in cancers: a treasure trove for novel therapeutics.
J Cell Physiol. 2012; 227(9):3178-84 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
AKT/PKB serine threonine kinase, a critical signaling molecule promoting cell growth and survival pathways, is frequently dysregulated in many cancers. Although phosphatidylinositol-3-OH kinase (PI3K), a lipid kinase, is well characterized as a major regulator of AKT activation in response to a variety of ligands, recent studies highlight a diverse group of tyrosine (Ack1/TNK2, Src, PTK6) and serine/threonine (TBK1, IKBKE, DNAPKcs) kinases that activate AKT directly to promote its pro-proliferative signaling functions. While some of these alternate AKT activating kinases respond to growth factors, others respond to inflammatory and genotoxic stimuli. A common theme emerging from these studies is that aberrant or hyperactivation of these alternate kinases is often associated with malignancy. Consequently, evaluating the use of small molecular inhibitors against these alternate AKT activating kinases at earlier stages of cancer therapy may overcome the pressing problem of drug resistance surfacing especially in patients treated with PI3K inhibitors.

Hildebrandt MA, Tan W, Tamboli P, et al.
Kinome expression profiling identifies IKBKE as a predictor of overall survival in clear cell renal cell carcinoma patients.
Carcinogenesis. 2012; 33(4):799-803 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
There are 516 known kinases in the human genome. Because of their important role maintaining proper cellular function, they are often misregulated during tumorigenesis and associated with clinical outcomes in cancer patients, including clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC). However, less is known about the global expression status of these genes in renal cell carcinoma and their association with clinical outcomes. We performed a systematic analysis of gene expression for 503 kinases in 93 tumor samples and adjacent normal tissues. Expression patterns for 41 kinases were able to clearly differentiate tumor and normal samples. Expression of I-kappa-B kinase epsilon (IKBKE) was associated with a 5.3-fold increased risk of dying [95% confidence interval (CI): 1.93-14.59, P-value: 0.0012]. Individuals with high IKBKE expression were at a significantly increased risk of death (hazard ratio: 3.34, 95% CI: 1.07-10.40, P-value: 0.038) resulting in a significantly reduced overall survival time compared with those with low IKBKE tumor expression (P-value: 0.049). These results for IKBKE were validated in a replication population consisting of 237 ccRCC patients (P-value: 0.0021). Furthermore, IKBKE was observed to be higher expressed in tumors compared with adjacent normal tissues (P-value < 10(-7)). IKBKE is a member of the nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-κB) signaling pathway and interestingly, gene expression patterns for other members of the NF-κB pathway were not associated with survival, suggesting that IKBKE gene expression may be an independent marker of variation in overall survival. Overall, these results support a novel role for IKBKE expression in modulating overall survival in ccRCC patients.

Guo JP, Coppola D, Cheng JQ
IKBKE protein activates Akt independent of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/PDK1/mTORC2 and the pleckstrin homology domain to sustain malignant transformation.
J Biol Chem. 2011; 286(43):37389-98 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Serine/threonine kinase Akt regulates key cellular processes such as cell growth, proliferation, and survival. Activation of Akt by mitogenic factor depends on phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K). Here, we report that IKBKE (also known as IKKε and IKKi) activates Akt through a PI3K-independent pathway. IKBKE directly phosphorylates Akt-Thr308 and Ser473 independent of the pleckstrin homology (PH) domain. IKBKE activation of Akt was not affected by inhibition of PI3K, knockdown of PDK1 or mTORC2 complex. Further, this activation could be inhibited by Akt inhibitors MK-2206 and GSK690693 but not the compounds (perifosine and triciribine) targeting the PH domain of Akt. Expression of IKBKE largely correlates with activation of Akt in breast cancer. Moreover, inhibition of Akt suppresses IKBKE oncogenic transformation. These findings indicate that IKBKE is an Akt-Thr308 and -Ser473 kinase and directly activates Akt independent of PI3K, PDK1, and mTORC2 as well as PH domain. Our data also suggest that Akt inhibitors targeting the PH domain have no effect on the tumors in which hyperactive Akt resulted from elevated IKBKE.

Colas E, Perez C, Cabrera S, et al.
Molecular markers of endometrial carcinoma detected in uterine aspirates.
Int J Cancer. 2011; 129(10):2435-44 [PubMed] Related Publications
Endometrial cancer (EC) is the most frequent of the invasive tumors of the female genital tract. Although usually detected in its initial stages, a 20% of the patients present with advanced disease. To date, no characterized molecular marker has been validated for the diagnosis of EC. In addition, new methods for prognosis and classification of EC are needed to combat this deadly disease. We thus aimed to identify new molecular markers of EC and to evaluate their validity on endometrial aspirates. Gene expression screening on 52 carcinoma samples and series of real-time quantitative PCR validation on 19 paired carcinomas and normal tissue samples and on 50 carcinoma and noncarcinoma uterine aspirates were performed to identify and validate potential biomarkers of EC. Candidate markers were further confirmed at the protein level by immunohistochemistry and Western blot. We identified ACAA1, AP1M2, CGN, DDR1, EPS8L2, FASTKD1, GMIP, IKBKE, P2RX4, P4HB, PHKG2, PPFIBP2, PPP1R16A, RASSF7, RNF183, SIRT6, TJP3, EFEMP2, SOCS2 and DCN as differentially expressed in ECs. Furthermore, the differential expression of these biomarkers in primary endometrial tumors is correlated to their expression level in corresponding uterine fluid samples. Finally, these biomarkers significantly identified EC with area under the receiver-operating-characteristic values ranging from 0.74 to 0.95 in uterine aspirates. Interestingly, analogous values were found among initial stages. We present the discovery of molecular biomarkers of EC and describe their utility in uterine aspirates. These findings represent the basis for the development of a highly sensitive and specific minimally invasive method for screening ECs.

Guan H, Zhang H, Cai J, et al.
IKBKE is over-expressed in glioma and contributes to resistance of glioma cells to apoptosis via activating NF-κB.
J Pathol. 2011; 223(3):436-45 [PubMed] Related Publications
IκB kinase-ε (IKBKE), a member of the IκB kinase (IKK) family, has been identified as an oncogenic protein and found to be up-regulated in breast cancer, ovarian cancer and prostate cancer. Nonetheless, the expression status and functional significance of IKBKE in human glioma remain unexplored. For the first time, we have demonstrated that mRNA and protein levels of IKBKE were robustly up-regulated in glioma cell lines and human primary glioma tissues. Immunohistochemistry analysis revealed that 53.5% (38/71) paraffin-embedded archived glioma specimens exhibited high levels of IKBKE expression. Intriguingly, there was no significant difference in IKBKE expression among different grades of glioma. To understand the biological function of IKBKE in the development and progression of human glioma, glioma cells lines ectopically over-expressing IKBKE were established and tested for their responsiveness to apoptotic inducers. Our data showed that IKBKE over-expression inhibited cell apoptosis induced by UV irradiation or adriamycin and, in contrast, shRNAi-mediated suppression of IKBKE increased the sensitivity of glioma cells to the apoptotic inducers. Importantly, we found that up-regulated IKBKE could induce the expression of Bcl-2 through activating NF-κB signalling, and that, specifically, we identified IκB as a critical component for this signalling cascade. The current study suggests that up-regulation of IKBKE may represent an important molecular hallmark that is biologically and clinically relevant to the development and progression, as well as the chemo- and radio-resistance, of the disease.

Cheng Y, Geng H, Cheng SH, et al.
KRAB zinc finger protein ZNF382 is a proapoptotic tumor suppressor that represses multiple oncogenes and is commonly silenced in multiple carcinomas.
Cancer Res. 2010; 70(16):6516-26 [PubMed] Related Publications
Zinc finger transcription factors are involved broadly in development and tumorigenesis. Here, we report that the little studied zinc finger transcription factor ZNF382 functions as a tumor suppressor in multiple carcinomas. Although broadly expressed in normal tissues, ZNF382 expression was attenuated in multiple carcinoma cell lines due to promoter CpG methylation. ZNF382 was also frequently methylated in multiple primary tumors (nasopharyngeal, esophageal, colon, gastric, and breast). Ectopic expression of ZNF382 in silenced tumor cells significantly inhibited their clonogenicity and proliferation and induced apoptosis. We further found that ZNF382 inhibited NF-kappaB and AP-1 signaling and downregulated the expression of multiple oncogenes including MYC, MITF, HMGA2, and CDK6, as well as the NF-kappaB upstream factors STAT3, STAT5B, ID1, and IKBKE, most likely through heterochromatin silencing. ZNF382 could suppress tumorigenesis through heterochromatin-mediated silencing, as ZNF382 was colocalized and interacted with heterochromatin protein HP1 and further changed the chromatin modifications of ZNF382 target oncogenes. Our data show that ZNF382 is a functional tumor suppressor frequently methylated in multiple carcinomas.

Reuter S, Charlet J, Juncker T, et al.
Effect of curcumin on nuclear factor kappaB signaling pathways in human chronic myelogenous K562 leukemia cells.
Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2009; 1171:436-47 [PubMed] Related Publications
Curcumin, a natural product isolated from the plant Curcuma longa, has a diverse range of molecular targets that influence numerous biochemical and molecular cascades. Curcumin has been shown to inhibit nuclear factor kappaB (NF-kappaB) activation at several steps in the NF-kappaB signaling pathways and thereby controls numerous NF-kappaB-regulated genes involved in various diseases. In the present study, we investigated the effect of curcumin pretreatment on 84 tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha)-activated genes of NF-kappaB pathways in K562 cells, using a real-time PCR array. Our results show that transcription of 29 NF-kappaB-related mRNAs was significantly downregulated (CARD4, CCL2, CD40, CSF2, F2R, ICAM1, IKBKB, IKBKE, IL1A, IL1B, IL6, IL8, IRAK2, MALT1, MAP3K1, MYD88, NFKB1, NFKB2, NFKBIA, PPM1A, RAF1, RELB, STAT1, TLR3, TNF, TNFalphaIP3, TNFSF10, and TICAM1), whereas 10 mRNAs were induced (AGT, CASP1, CSF3, FOS, IFNG, IL10, TICAM2, TLR2, TLR9, and TNFRSF7). Western blot analysis of CD40, NFKB1 (p50), RELB, NFKBIA (IkappaBalpha), and IL10 as well as an IL8 secretion assay confirmed our results. Taken together, we show that curcumin regulates an impressive number of NF-kappaB genes within the different NF-kappaB signaling pathways.

Gibcus JH, Tan LP, Harms G, et al.
Hodgkin lymphoma cell lines are characterized by a specific miRNA expression profile.
Neoplasia. 2009; 11(2):167-76 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) is derived from preapoptotic germinal center B cells, although a general loss of B cell phenotype is noted. Using quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and miRNA microarray, we determined the microRNA (miRNA) profile of HL and compared this with the profile of a panel of B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphomas. The two methods showed a strong correlation for the detection of miRNA expression levels. The HL-specific miRNA included miR-17-92 cluster members, miR-16, miR-21, miR-24, and miR-155. Using a large panel of cell lines, we found differential expression between HL and other B-cell lymphoma-derived cell lines for 27 miRNA. A significant down-regulation in HL compared to non-Hodgkin lymphoma was observed only for miR-150. Next, we performed target gene validation of predicted target genes for miR-155, which is highly expressed in HL and is differentially expressed between HL and Burkitt lymphoma. Using luciferase reporter assays, we validated 11 predicted miR-155 target genes in three different HL cell lines. We demonstrated that AGTR1, FGF7, ZNF537, ZIC3, and IKBKE are true miR-155 target genes in HL.

Péant B, Diallo JS, Dufour F, et al.
Over-expression of IkappaB-kinase-epsilon (IKKepsilon/IKKi) induces secretion of inflammatory cytokines in prostate cancer cell lines.
Prostate. 2009; 69(7):706-18 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Elevated inflammatory cytokine levels in serum have been associated with advanced stage metastasis-related morbidity in prostate cancer. Several studies have shown that IL-6 and IL-8 can accelerate the growth of human prostate cancer cell lines. Previous studies, in murine embryonic fibroblasts, have shown that Ikappa-B kinase-epsilon (IKKepsilon/IKKi)-deficiency results in the reduction of lipopolysaccharide-mediated expression of IL-6.
RESULTS: In this study, we report that over-expression of IKKepsilon in hormone-sensitive 22Rv1 and LNCaP prostate cancer cells induces the secretion of several inflammatory cytokines including IL-6 and IL-8. Both of these cytokines are secreted by hormone-refractory PC-3 prostate cancer cells and IKKepsilon knock-down in these cells correlates with a strong decrease in IL-6 secretion. Furthermore, we demonstrate that IKKepsilon over-expression does not induce the activation of the IKKepsilon classical targets NF-kappaB and IRF-3, two transcription factors involved in the regulation of several cytokines. Finally, we observe that high IKKepsilon expression results in its nuclear translocation, a phenomena that is TBK1-independent.
CONCLUSIONS: This study identifies IKKepsilon as a potential prostate cancer gene that may favor chronic inflammation and create a tumor-supporting microenvironment that promotes prostate cancer progression, particularly by the induction of IL-6 secretion that may act as a positive growth factor in prostate cancer.

Boehm JS, Zhao JJ, Yao J, et al.
Integrative genomic approaches identify IKBKE as a breast cancer oncogene.
Cell. 2007; 129(6):1065-79 [PubMed] Related Publications
The karyotypic chaos exhibited by human epithelial cancers complicates efforts to identify mutations critical for malignant transformation. Here we integrate complementary genomic approaches to identify human oncogenes. We show that activation of the ERK and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) signaling pathways cooperate to transform human cells. Using a library of activated kinases, we identify several kinases that replace PI3K signaling and render cells tumorigenic. Whole genome structural analyses reveal that one of these kinases, IKBKE (IKKepsilon), is amplified and overexpressed in breast cancer cell lines and patient-derived tumors. Suppression of IKKepsilon expression in breast cancer cell lines that harbor IKBKE amplifications induces cell death. IKKepsilon activates the nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB) pathway in both cell lines and breast cancers. These observations suggest a mechanism for NF-kappaB activation in breast cancer, implicate the NF-kappaB pathway as a downstream mediator of PI3K, and provide a framework for integrated genomic approaches in oncogene discovery.

Agami R
All roads lead to IKKepsilon.
Cell. 2007; 129(6):1043-5 [PubMed] Related Publications
Extensive genetic alterations have been found in many epithelial malignancies. Using three complementary genetic approaches, Boehm et al. (2007) identify IKBKE--which encodes IKKepsilon, a component of the NF-kappaB pathway--as a breast cancer oncogene.

Liu B, Park E, Zhu F, et al.
A critical role for I kappaB kinase alpha in the development of human and mouse squamous cell carcinomas.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2006; 103(46):17202-7 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
IKK (I kappaB kinase) alpha is essential for embryonic skin development in mice. Mice deficient in IKKalpha display markedly hyperplasic epidermis that lacks terminal differentiation, and they die because of this severely impaired skin. However, the function of IKKalpha in human skin diseases remains largely unknown. To shed light on the role of IKKalpha in human skin diseases, we examined IKKalpha expression and Ikkalpha mutations in human squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs). We found a marked reduction in IKKalpha expression in poorly differentiated human SCCs and identified Ikkalpha mutations in exon 15 of Ikkalpha in eight of nine human SCCs, implying that IKKalpha is involved in development of this human skin cancer. Furthermore, in a chemical carcinogen-induced skin carcinogenesis setting, mice overexpressing human IKKalpha in the epidermis under the control of a truncated loricrin promoter developed significantly fewer SCCs and metastases than did wild-type mice. The IKKalpha transgene altered the skin microenvironment conditions, leading to elevated terminal differentiation in the epidermis, reduced mitogenic activity in the epidermis, and decreased angiogenic activity in the skin stroma. Thus, overexpression of IKKalpha in the epidermis antagonized chemical carcinogen-induced mitogenic and angiogenic activities, repressing tumor progression and metastases.

Eddy SF, Guo S, Demicco EG, et al.
Inducible IkappaB kinase/IkappaB kinase epsilon expression is induced by CK2 and promotes aberrant nuclear factor-kappaB activation in breast cancer cells.
Cancer Res. 2005; 65(24):11375-83 [PubMed] Related Publications
Aberrant activation of nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB) transcription factors has been implicated in the pathogenesis of breast cancer. We previously showed elevated activity of IkappaB kinase alpha (IKKalpha), IKKbeta, and protein kinase CK2 in primary human breast cancer specimens and cultured cells. A novel inducible IKK protein termed IKK-i/IKKepsilon has been characterized as a potential NF-kappaB activator. Here, we provide evidence that implicates IKK-i/IKKepsilon in the pathogenesis of breast cancer. We show IKK-i/IKKepsilon expression in primary human breast cancer specimens and carcinogen-induced mouse mammary tumors. Multiple breast cancer cell lines showed higher levels of IKK-i/IKKepsilon and kinase activity compared with untransformed MCF-10F breast epithelial cells. Interestingly, IKK-i/IKKepsilon expression correlated with CK2alpha expression in mammary glands and breast tumors derived from MMTV-CK2alpha transgenic mice. Ectopic CK2 expression in untransformed cells led to increased IKK-i/IKKepsilon mRNA and protein levels. Inhibition of CK2alpha via the pharmacologic inhibitor apigenin or upon transfection of a CK2 kinase-inactive subunit reduced IKK-i/IKKepsilon levels. Expression of a kinase-inactive IKK-i/IKKepsilon mutant in breast cancer cells reduced NF-kappaB activity as judged by transfection assays of reporters driven either by NF-kappaB elements or the promoters of two NF-kappaB target genes, cyclin D1 and relB. Importantly, the kinase-inactive IKK-i/IKKepsilon mutant reduced the endogenous levels of these genes as well as the ability of breast cancer cells to grow in soft agar or form invasive colonies in Matrigel. Thus, CK2 induces functional IKK-i/IKKepsilon, which is an important mediator of the activation of NF-kappaB that plays a critical role in the pathogenesis of breast cancer.

Cicek M, Fukuyama R, Welch DR, et al.
Breast cancer metastasis suppressor 1 inhibits gene expression by targeting nuclear factor-kappaB activity.
Cancer Res. 2005; 65(9):3586-95 [PubMed] Related Publications
Breast cancer metastasis suppressor 1 (BRMS1) functions as a metastasis suppressor gene in breast cancer and melanoma cell lines, but the mechanism of BRMS1 suppression remains unclear. We determined that BRMS1 expression was inversely correlated with that of urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA), a prometastatic gene that is regulated at least in part by nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB). To further investigate the role of NF-kappaB in BRMS1-regulated gene expression, we examined NF-kappaB binding activity and found an inverse correlation between BRMS1 expression and NF-kappaB binding activity in MDA-MB-231 breast cancer and C8161.9 melanoma cells stably expressing BRMS1. In contrast, BRMS1 expression had no effect on activation of the activator protein-1 transcription factor. Further, we showed that suppression of both constitutive and tumor necrosis factor-alpha-induced NF-kappaB activation by BRMS1 may be due to inhibition of IkappaBalpha phosphorylation and degradation. To examine the relationship between BRMS1 and uPA expression in primary breast tumors, we screened a breast cancer dot blot array of normalized cDNA from 50 breast tumors and corresponding normal breast tissues. There was a significant reduction in BRMS1 mRNA expression in breast tumors compared with matched normal breast tissues (paired t test, P < 0.0001) and a general inverse correlation with uPA gene expression (P < 0.01). These results suggest that at least one of the underlying mechanisms of BRMS1-dependent suppression of tumor metastasis includes inhibition of NF-kappaB activity and subsequent suppression of uPA expression in breast cancer and melanoma cells.

Xu C, Shen G, Chen C, et al.
Suppression of NF-kappaB and NF-kappaB-regulated gene expression by sulforaphane and PEITC through IkappaBalpha, IKK pathway in human prostate cancer PC-3 cells.
Oncogene. 2005; 24(28):4486-95 [PubMed] Related Publications
Recent studies indicate that natural isothiocyanates, such as sulforaphane (SFN) and phenethyl isothiocyanate (PEITC) possess strong antitumor activities in vitro and in vivo. The nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kappaB) is believed to play an important role in cancer chemoprevention due to its involvement in tumor cell growth, proliferation, angiogenesis, invasion, apoptosis, and survival. In this study, we investigated the effects and the molecular mechanisms of SFN and PEITC on NF-kappaB transcriptional activation and NF-kappaB-regulated gene expression in human prostate cancer PC-3 C4 cells. Treatment with SFN (20 and 30 microM) and PEITC (5 and 7.5 microM) significantly inhibited NF-kappaB transcriptional activity, nuclear transloction of p65, and gene expression of NF-kappaB-regulated VEGF, cylcin D1, and Bcl-X(L) in PC-3 C4 cells. To further elucidate the mechanism, we utilized the dominant-negative mutant of inhibitor of NF-kappaB alpha (IkappaBalpha) (SR-IkappaBalpha). Analogous to treatments with SFN and PEITC, SR-IkappaBalpha also strongly inhibited NF-kappaB transcriptional activity as well as VEGF, cylcin D1, and Bcl-X(L) expression. Furthermore, SFN and PEITC also inhibited the basal and UVC-induced phosphorylation of IkappaBalpha and blocked UVC-induced IkappaBalpha degradation in PC-3 C4 cells. In examining the upstream signaling, we found that the dominant-negative mutant of IKKbeta (dnIKKbeta) possessed inhibitory effects similar to SFN and PEITC on NF-kappaB, VEGF, cylcin D1, Bcl-X(L) as well as IkappaBalpha phosphorylation. In addition, treatment with SFN and PEITC potently inhibited phosphorylation of both IKKbeta and IKKalpha and significantly inhibited the in vitro phosphorylation of IkappaBalpha mediated by IKKbeta. Taken together, these results suggest that the inhibition of SFN and PEITC on NF-kappaB transcriptional activation as well as NF-kappaB-regulated VEGF, cyclin D1, and Bcl-X(L) gene expression is mainly mediated through the inhibition of IKK phosphorylation, particularly IKKbeta, and the inhibition of IkappaBalpha phosphorylation and degradation, as well as the decrease of nuclear translocation of p65 in PC-3 cells.

Takada Y, Andreeff M, Aggarwal BB
Indole-3-carbinol suppresses NF-kappaB and IkappaBalpha kinase activation, causing inhibition of expression of NF-kappaB-regulated antiapoptotic and metastatic gene products and enhancement of apoptosis in myeloid and leukemia cells.
Blood. 2005; 106(2):641-9 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Indole-3-carbinol, found in Brassica species vegetables (such as cabbage, cauliflower, and brussels spouts), exhibits antitumor effects through poorly defined mechanisms. Because several genes that regulate apoptosis, proliferation, and metastasis are regulated by nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB), we postulated that indole-3-carbinol must mediate its activity through NF-kappaB modulation. We demonstrated that indole-3-carbinol suppressed constitutive NF-kappaB activation and activation induced by tumor necrosis factor (TNF), interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta), phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA), lipopolysaccharide (LPS), and cigarette smoke; the suppression was not cell type specific, because activation was inhibited in myeloid, leukemia, and epithelial cells. This activation correlated with the sequential suppression of the IkappaBalpha kinase, IkappaBalpha phosphorylation, IkappaBalpha ubiquitination, IkappaBalpha degradation, p65 phosphorylation, p65 nuclear translocation, p65 acetylation, and NF-kappaB-dependent reporter gene expression. The NF-kappaB-regulated gene products cyclin D1, cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9), survivin, inhibitor-of-apoptosis protein-1 (IAP1), IAP2, X chromosome-linked IAP (XIAP), Bcl-2, Bfl-1/A1, TNF receptor-associated factor-1 (TRAF1), and Fas-associated death domain protein-like interleukin-1beta-converting enzyme inhibitory protein (FLIP) were all down-regulated by indole-3-carbinol. This down-regulation led to the potentiation of apoptosis induced by cytokines and chemotherapeutic agents. Indole-3-carbinol suppressed constitutive NF-kappaB activation in mononuclear cells derived from bone marrow of acute myelogenous leukemia patients, and this correlated with inhibition of cell growth. Overall, our results indicated that indole-3-carbinol inhibits NF-kappaB and NF-kappaB-regulated gene expression and that this mechanism may provide the molecular basis for its ability to suppress tumorigenesis.

Takada Y, Kobayashi Y, Aggarwal BB
Evodiamine abolishes constitutive and inducible NF-kappaB activation by inhibiting IkappaBalpha kinase activation, thereby suppressing NF-kappaB-regulated antiapoptotic and metastatic gene expression, up-regulating apoptosis, and inhibiting invasion.
J Biol Chem. 2005; 280(17):17203-12 [PubMed] Related Publications
Evodiamine, an alkaloidal component extracted from the fruit of Evodiae fructus (Evodia rutaecarpa Benth., Rutaceae), exhibits antiproliferative, antimetastatic, and apoptotic activities through a poorly defined mechanism. Because several genes that regulate cellular proliferation, carcinogenesis, metastasis, and survival are regulated by nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB), we postulated that evodiamine mediates its activity by modulating NF-kappaB activation. In the present study, we investigated the effect of evodiamine on NF-kappaB and NF-kappaB-regulated gene expression activated by various carcinogens. We demonstrate that evodiamine was a highly potent inhibitor of NF-kappaB activation, and it abrogated both inducible and constitutive NF-kappaB activation. The inhibition corresponded with the sequential suppression of IkappaBalpha kinase activity, IkappaBalpha phosphorylation, IkappaBalpha degradation, p65 phosphorylation, p65 nuclear translocation, and p65 acetylation. Evodiamine also inhibited tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-induced Akt activation and its association with IKK. Suppression of Akt activation was specific, because it had no effect on JNK or p38 MAPK activation. Evodiamine also inhibited the NF-kappaB-dependent reporter gene expression activated by TNF, TNFR1, TRADD, TRAF2, NIK, and IKK but not that activated by the p65 subunit of NF-kappaB. NF-kappaB-regulated gene products such as Cyclin D1, c-Myc, COX-2, MMP-9, ICAM-1, MDR1, Survivin, XIAP, IAP1, IAP2, FLIP, Bcl-2, Bcl-xL, and Bfl-1/A1 were all down-regulated by evodiamine. This down-regulation potentiated the apoptosis induced by cytokines and chemotherapeutic agents and suppressed TNF-induced invasive activity. Overall, our results indicated that evodiamine inhibits both constitutive and induced NF-kappaB activation and NF-kappaB-regulated gene expression and that this inhibition may provide a molecular basis for the ability of evodiamine to suppress proliferation, induce apoptosis, and inhibit metastasis.

Lam LT, Davis RE, Pierce J, et al.
Small molecule inhibitors of IkappaB kinase are selectively toxic for subgroups of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma defined by gene expression profiling.
Clin Cancer Res. 2005; 11(1):28-40 [PubMed] Related Publications
Constitutive activation of the NF-kappaB pathway is required for survival of the activated B cell-like (ABC) subgroup of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). Here we show that a small molecule IkappaB kinase (IKK) inhibitor, PS-1145, and related compounds are toxic for ABC DLBCL cell lines but not for cell lines derived from the other prevalent form of DLBCL, germinal center B cell-like DLBCL. Treatment of ABC lines with these inhibitors rapidly induced a series of gene expression changes that were attributable to cessation of constitutive IKK activity, similar to changes induced by acute expression of genetic inhibitors of NF-kappaB, confirming the effectiveness and specificity of this compound. Before cell death, inhibition of IKK also induced features of apoptosis and an arrest in the G1 phase of the cell cycle. To test further the specificity of this toxicity, an inducible form of NF-kappaB was created by fusing the p65 NF-kappaB subunit with the ligand-binding domain of the estrogen receptor (p65-ERD). In the presence of tamoxifen, p65-ERD reversed the toxicity of IKK inhibition and restored expression of many NF-kappaB target genes. Another subgroup of DLBCL, primary mediastinal B-cell lymphoma (PMBL), also expresses NF-kappaB target genes, and treatment of a PMBL cell line with an IKK inhibitor was toxic and induced gene expression changes of a distinct group of NF-kappaB target genes. These studies validate the NF-kappaB pathway as a promising therapeutic target in ABC DLBCL, PMBL, and other lymphomas that depend on the activity of NF-kappaB for survival and proliferation.

Ho L, Davis RE, Conne B, et al.
MALT1 and the API2-MALT1 fusion act between CD40 and IKK and confer NF-kappa B-dependent proliferative advantage and resistance against FAS-induced cell death in B cells.
Blood. 2005; 105(7):2891-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
The most frequently recurring translocations in mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma, t(11;18)(q21;q21) and t(14;18)(q32; q21), lead to formation of an API2-MALT1 fusion or IgH-mediated MALT1 overexpression. Various approaches have implicated these proteins in nuclear factor kappaB (NF-kappa B) signaling, but this has not been shown experimentally in human B cells. Immunohistochemistry showed that MALT1 is predominantly expressed in normal and malignant germinal center B cells, corresponding to the differentiation stage of MALT lymphoma. We expressed MALT1 and apoptosis inhibitor-2 API2/MALT1 in human B-cell lymphoma BJAB cells and found both transgenes in membrane lipid rafts along with endogenous MALT1 and 2 binding partners involved in NF-kappa B signaling, B-cell lymphoma 10 (BCL10) and CARMA1 (caspase recruitment domain [CARD]-containing membrane-associated guanylate kinase [MAGUK] 1). API2-MALT1 and exogenous MALT1 increased constitutive NF-kappa B activity and enhanced I kappa B kinase (IKK) activation induced by CD40 stimulation. Both transgenes protected BJAB cells from FAS (CD95)-induced death, consistent with increases in NF-kappa B cytoprotective target gene expression, and increased their proliferation rate. Expression of a dominant-negative I kappa B alpha mutant showed that these survival and proliferative advantages are dependent on elevated constitutive NF-kappa B activity. Our findings support a model in which NF-kappa B signaling, once activated in a CD40-dependent immune response, is maintained and enhanced through deregulation of MALT1 or formation of an API2-MALT1 fusion.

Agarwal A, Das K, Lerner N, et al.
The AKT/I kappa B kinase pathway promotes angiogenic/metastatic gene expression in colorectal cancer by activating nuclear factor-kappa B and beta-catenin.
Oncogene. 2005; 24(6):1021-31 [PubMed] Related Publications
Our laboratory has delineated that the phosphatidylinositol 3' kinase (PI3K)/AKT/I kappa B kinase (IKK) pathway positively regulates NF kappa B and beta-catenin, both important transcriptional regulators in colorectal cancer (CRC). Therefore, we investigated the effect of inhibiting the PI3K/AKT/IKK alpha pathway in regulating the inappropriate constitutive activation of NF kappa B and beta-catenin in CRC cell lines. SW480 and RKO CRC cell lines demonstrate constitutive activation of AKT as well as both NF kappa B- and beta-catenin-dependent transcription. The constitutive activation of NF kappa B- and beta-catenin-dependent transcription is inhibited by transiently transfecting either kinase dead (KD) IKK alpha, which blocks IKK alpha kinase activity, KD AKT, which blocks AKT activity, or wildtype (WT) PTEN, which inhibits PI3K and AKT activity. The ability of KD IKK alpha, KD AKT or WT PTEN to decrease beta-catenin-dependent transcription is independent of their effects on NF kappa B. Inducible expression of either KD IKK alpha or WT PTEN strongly inhibits both the constitutive NF kappa B- and beta-catenin-dependent promoter and endogenous gene activation. Targeted array-based gene expression analysis of this inducible system reveals that many of the genes downregulated upon inhibition of this pathway are involved in tumor angiogenesis and metastasis. The activation of this pathway and the expression of the three most repressed genes was further analysed in samples of CRC. These results indicate a role of this pathway in controlling gene expression important in tumor progression and metastasis.

Han SS, Kim K, Hahm ER, et al.
Arsenic trioxide represses constitutive activation of NF-kappaB and COX-2 expression in human acute myeloid leukemia, HL-60.
J Cell Biochem. 2005; 94(4):695-707 [PubMed] Related Publications
It has been proposed that eukaryotic nuclear factor nuclear factor kappa-B (NF-kappaB) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) are implicated in the pathogenesis of many human diseases including cancer. Arsenic has been widely used in medicine in Oriental countries. Recent studies have shown that arsenic trioxide (As(2)O(3)) could induce in vitro growth inhibition and apoptosis of malignant lymphocytes, and myeloma cells. However, the molecular mechanisms by which As(2)O(3) initiates cellular signaling toward cell death are still unclear. In the present study, the effects of As(2)O(3) on NF-kappaB and COX-2 expression in HL-60 cells were investigated. As(2)O(3) suppressed DNA-binding activity of NF-kappaB composed of p65/p50 heterodimer through preventing the degradation of IkappaB-alpha and the nuclear translocation of p65 subsequently as well as interrupting the binding of NF-kappaB with their consensus sequences. Inhibitory effect of As(2)O(3) on NF-kappaB DNA activity was dependent upon intracellular glutathione (GSH) and H(2)O(2) level, but not superoxide anion. Futhermore, we found that As(2)O(3) also downregulated the expression of COX-2, which has NF-kappaB binding site on its promoter through repressing the NF-kappaB DNA-binding activity.

Li L, Aggarwal BB, Shishodia S, et al.
Nuclear factor-kappaB and IkappaB kinase are constitutively active in human pancreatic cells, and their down-regulation by curcumin (diferuloylmethane) is associated with the suppression of proliferation and the induction of apoptosis.
Cancer. 2004; 101(10):2351-62 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Pancreatic carcinoma is a lethal malignancy, with the best available therapeutic option-gemcitabine-yielding response rates of < 10%. Because nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB) has been determined to play a role in cell survival/proliferation in human pancreatic carcinoma, this transcription factor is a potential therapeutic target.
METHODS: The authors investigated the ability of curcumin (diferuloylmethane), an agent that is pharmacologically safe in humans, to modulate NF-kappaB activity.
RESULTS: NF-kappaB and IkappaB kinase (IKK) were constitutively active in all human pancreatic carcinoma cell lines examined, and curcumin consistently suppressed NF-kappaB binding (as assessed using an electrophoretic mobility gel-shift assay) and IKK activity. Curcumin decreased the expression of NF-kappaB-regulated gene products, including cyclooxygenase-2 (as assessed using immunoblot analysis), prostaglandin E2, and interleukin-8 (as assessed using an enzyme-linked immunoassay), all of which have been implicated in the growth and invasiveness of pancreatic carcinoma. These changes were associated with concentration- and time-dependent antiproliferative activity (as assessed using a 3-[4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl]-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide [MTT] assay) and proapoptotic effects (as assessed via annexin V/propidium iodide staining [fluorescence-activated cell sorting, as well as with the induction of polyadenosine-5'-diphosphate-ribose polymerase cleavage).
CONCLUSIONS: Curcumin down-regulated NF-kappaB and growth control molecules induced by NF-kappaB in human pancreatic cells. These effects were accompanied by marked growth inhibition and apoptosis. Through these findings, the authors provided a biologic rationale for the treatment of patients with pancreatic carcinoma using this nontoxic phytochemical.

Pacifico F, Mauro C, Barone C, et al.
Oncogenic and anti-apoptotic activity of NF-kappa B in human thyroid carcinomas.
J Biol Chem. 2004; 279(52):54610-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
Thyroid cancer includes three types of carcinomas classified as differentiated thyroid carcinomas (DTC), medullary thyroid carcinomas, and undifferentiated carcinomas (UTC). DTC and medullary thyroid carcinomas generally have a good prognosis, but UTC are usually fatal. Consequently, there is a need for new effective therapeutic modalities to improve the survival of UTC patients. Here we show that NF-kappa B is activated in human thyroid neoplasms, particularly in undifferentiated carcinomas. Thyroid cell lines, reproducing in vitro the different thyroid neoplasias, also show basal NF-kappa B activity and resistance to drug-induced apoptosis, which correlates with the level of NF-kappa B activation. Activation of NF-kappa B in the DTC cell line NPA renders these cells resistant to drug-induced apoptosis. Stable expression of a super-repressor form of I kappa B alpha (I kappa B alpha M) in the UTC cell line FRO results in enhanced sensitivity to drug-induced apoptosis, to the loss of the ability of these cells to form colonies in soft agar, and to induce tumor growth in nude mice. In addition, we show that FRO cells display a very low JNK activity that is restored in FRO-I kappa B alpha M clones. Moreover, inhibition of JNK activity renders FRO-I kappa B alpha M clones resistant to apoptosis induced by chemotherapeutic agents. Our results indicate that NF-kappa B plays a pivotal role in thyroid carcinogenesis, being required for tumor growth and for resistance to drug-induced apoptosis, the latter function very likely through the inhibition of JNK activity. Furthermore, the strong constitutive NF-kappa B activity in human anaplastic thyroid carcinomas, besides representing a novel diagnostic tool, makes NF-kappa B a target for the development of novel therapeutic strategies.

Agou F, Courtois G, Chiaravalli J, et al.
Inhibition of NF-kappa B activation by peptides targeting NF-kappa B essential modulator (nemo) oligomerization.
J Biol Chem. 2004; 279(52):54248-57 [PubMed] Related Publications
NF-kappa B essential modulator/IKK-gamma (NEMO/IKK-gamma) plays a key role in the activation of the NF-kappa B pathway in response to proinflammatory stimuli. Previous studies suggested that the signal-dependent activation of the IKK complex involves the trimerization of NEMO. The minimal oligomerization domain of this protein consists of two coiled-coil subdomains named Coiled-coil 2 (CC2) and leucine zipper (LZ) (Agou, F., Traincard, F., Vinolo, E., Courtois, G., Yamaoka, S., Israel, A., and Veron, M. (2004) J. Biol. Chem. 279, 27861-27869). To search for drugs inhibiting NF-kappa B activation, we have rationally designed cell-permeable peptides corresponding to the CC2 and LZ subdomains that mimic the contact areas between NEMO subunits. The peptides were tagged with the Antennapedia/Penetratin motif and delivered to cells prior to stimulation with lipopolysaccharide. Peptide transduction was monitored by fluorescence-activated cell sorter, and their effect on lipopolysaccharide-induced NF-kappa B activation was quantified using an NF-kappa B-dependent beta-galactosidase assay in stably transfected pre-B 70Z/3 lymphocytes. We show that the peptides corresponding to the LZ and CC2 subdomains inhibit NF-kappa B activation with an IC(50) in the mum range. Control peptides, including mutated CC2 and LZ peptides and a heterologous coiled-coil peptide, had no inhibitory effect. The designed peptides are able to induce cell death in human retinoblastoma Y79 cells exhibiting constitutive NF-kappa B activity. Our results provide the "proof of concept" for a new and promising strategy for the inhibition of NF-kappa B pathway activation through targeting the oligomerization state of the NEMO protein.

Sabatini N, Di Pietro R, Rapino M, et al.
PI-3-kinase/NF-kappaB mediated response of Jurkat T leukemic cells to two different chemotherapeutic drugs, etoposide and TRAIL.
J Cell Biochem. 2004; 93(2):301-11 [PubMed] Related Publications
Jurkat T leukemic cells respond to Etoposide, antineoplastic agent which targets the DNA unwinding enzyme, Topoisomerase II, and TNF-Related-Apoptosis-Inducing-Ligand (TRAIL), 34 kDa transmembrane protein, which displays minimal or no toxicity on normal cells and tissues, not only disclosing the occurrence of apoptosis but also a kind of resistance. A similar rate of viability upon the exposure to these two drugs up to 24 h has been evidenced, followed by the occurrence of a rescue process against TRAIL, not performed against Etoposide, along with an higher number of dead cells upon Etoposide exposure, in comparison with TRAIL treatment. These preliminary results let us to speculate on the possible involvement of PI-3-kinase in TRAIL resistance disclosed by surviving cells (20%), may be phosphorylating Akt-1 and, in parallel, IkappaB alpha on both serine and tyrosine residues. On the other hand, in Etoposide Jurkat exposed cells Ser 32-36 phosphorylation of IkappaB alpha is not sufficient to overbalance the apoptotic fate of the cells, since Bax increase, IAP decrease, and caspase-3 activation determine the persistence of the apoptotic state along with the occurrence of cell death by necrosis. Thus, the existence of a balance between apoptotic and rescue response in 20% of cells surviving to TRAIL suggests the possibility of pushing it in favor of cell death in order to improve the yield of pharmacological strategies.

Munzert G, Kirchner D, Ottmann O, et al.
Constitutive NF-kappab/Rel activation in philadelphia chromosome positive (Ph+) acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).
Leuk Lymphoma. 2004; 45(6):1181-4 [PubMed] Related Publications
The Bcr-Abl translocation t(9;22)(q34;q11 ) defines a subgroup of ALL patients with a dismal prognosis despite the introduction of intensified induction and consolidation regimen. Although Bcr-Abl induced NF-kappaB/Rel activation has previously been shown, the role of NF-kappaB/Rel in Ph+ leukemia is unclear. Using DNA binding assays, we demonstrate constitutive NF-kappaB/Rel activity in nuclear extracts from Ph+ ALL blasts, whereas Ph- primary blast cells and B-precursor cell lines lack NF-kappaB/Rel activity. NF-kappaB/Rel activity was shown in the ela2 and the b2a2 subtypes. Constitutive NF-kappaB/Rel activity in Ph+ blasts is not due to elevated endogenous IkappaB kinase (IKK) activity as shown by immune complex kinase assays. Since NF-kappaB/Rel is a transcriptional regulator of inhibitors of apoptosis we examined the expression of anti-apoptotic genes known to be induced by NF-kappaB/Rel by real time PCR analysis. We found no induction of TRAFI, TRAF2, cIAPI, cIAP2, XIAP, A20 or Bfl/Al in Ph+ ALL samples as compared to Ph-negative ALL controls. In summary, constitutive NF-kappaB/Rel activation independent of endogenous IKK activation may be a common finding in Ph+ ALL. However, targets of NF-kappaB/Rel mediated transcriptional regulation in this disease remain to be identified.

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