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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Primary human CD4+ T cells contain heterogeneous I kappa B kinase complexes: role in activation of the IL-2 promoter.

NF-kappa B transcription factors play an important role in the activation of the IL-2 gene in response to TCR ligation. The release of NF-kappa B factors to the nucleus requires phosphorylation and degradation of the inhibitory kappa-B proteins (I kappa Bs). I kappa B alpha and I kappa B beta phosphorylation is dependent on dual signaling by the TCR and the CD28 accessory receptor. This pathway involves a multisubunit I kappa B kinase (IKK) complex, which includes the IKK alpha (IKK-1) and IKK beta (IKK-2) kinases. We demonstrate that stimulation of primary human CD4+ T cells by CD3/CD28 activates two distinct endogenous IKK complexes, a heterodimeric IKK alpha/beta and a homodimeric IKK beta complex. IKK beta overexpression in a Jurkat cell line resulted in the formation of a constitutively active IKK complex, which was CD3/CD28 inducible. In contrast, ectopic expression of IKK alpha assembled into a complex with negligible I kappa B kinase activity. Moreover, IKK beta, but not IKK alpha, overexpression enhanced transcriptional activation of the CD28 response element in the IL-2 promoter. Conversely, only kinase-inactive IKK beta interfered in the activation of the IL-2 promoter. Sodium salicylate, an inhibitor of IKK beta, but not IKK alpha, activity, inhibited IL-2 promoter activation as well as IL-2 secretion and interfered in activation of both the heterodimeric as well as the homodimeric IKK complexes in primary CD4+ T cells. Taken together, these data demonstrate the presence of an IKK beta- mediated signaling pathway that is activated by TCR and CD28 coligation and regulates IL-2 promoter activity.[1]


  1. Primary human CD4+ T cells contain heterogeneous I kappa B kinase complexes: role in activation of the IL-2 promoter. Khoshnan, A., Kempiak, S.J., Bennett, B.L., Bae, D., Xu, W., Manning, A.M., June, C.H., Nel, A.E. J. Immunol. (1999) [Pubmed]
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