Jan 1, 1994

Function and activation of NF-kappa B in the immune system

Annual Review of Immunology
P A Baeuerle, T Henkel


NF-kappa B is a ubiquitous transcription factor. Nevertheless, its properties seem to be most extensively exploited in cells of the immune system. Among these properties are NF-kappa B's rapid posttranslational activation in response to many pathogenic signals, its direct participation in cytoplasmic/nuclear signaling, and its potency to activate transcription of a great variety of genes encoding immunologically relevant proteins. In vertebrates, five distinct DNA binding subunits are currently known which might extensively heterodimerize, thereby forming complexes with distinct transcriptional activity, DNA sequence specificity, and cell type- and cell stage-specific distribution. The activity of DNA binding NF-kappa B dimers is tightly controlled by accessory proteins called I kappa B subunits of which there are also five different species currently known in vertebrates. I kappa B proteins inhibit DNA binding and prevent nuclear uptake of NF-kappa B complexes. An exception is the Bcl-3 protein which in addition can function as a transcription activating subunit in th nucleus. Other I kappa B proteins are rather involved in terminating NF-kappa B's activity in the nucleus. The intracellular events that lead to the inactivation...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Immune System
Oncogenic Viruses
Transcription, Genetic
Proto-Oncogene Proteins

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