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1.  Putative E3 Ubiquitin Ligase of Human Rotavirus Inhibits NF-κB Activation by Using Molecular Mimicry To Target β-TrCP 
mBio  2015;6(1):e02490-14.
ABSTRACT  
NF-κB plays a critical role in the induction and maintenance of innate and adaptive immune transcriptional programs. An associated inhibitor of κB protein (IκB) regulates NF-κB activation and contains a degron motif (DSGΦxS) that undergoes phosphorylation following pathogen recognition or other proinflammatory signals. The E3 ubiquitin ligase SCFβ-TrCP recognizes this phosphodegron through its β-transducin repeat-containing protein (β-TrCP) subunit and induces IκB degradation, allowing NF-κB to translocate to the nucleus and modulate gene expression. Rotavirus (RV), a major cause of pediatric gastroenteritis, can block NF-κB activation through the action of its nonstructural protein NSP1, a putative E3 ubiquitin ligase that mediates the degradation of β-TrCP or other immunomodulatory proteins in a virus strain-specific manner. Here, we show that NSP1 targets β-TrCP by mimicking the IκB phosphodegron. The NSP1 proteins of most human and porcine RV strains conserve a C-terminal phosphodegron-like (PDL) motif, DSGΦS. Deletion of this motif or mutation of its serine residues disrupts NSP1-mediated degradation of β-TrCP and inhibition of NF-κB activation. Additionally, a point mutation within the phosphodegron-binding pocket protects β-TrCP from NSP1-mediated turnover. Fusion of the PDL motif to an NSP1 protein known to target other immunomodulatory proteins generates a chimeric NSP1 protein that can induce β-TrCP degradation and block NF-κB activation. Other viral proteins (Epstein-Barr virus LMP1, HIV-1 Vpu, and vaccinia virus A49) also contain a PDL motif and interact with β-TrCP to inhibit NF-κB activation. Taken together, these data suggest that targeting β-TrCP by molecular mimicry may be a common strategy used by human viruses to evade the host immune response.
IMPORTANCE   The transcription factor NF-κB, a central regulator of the host response to infection, is a frequent target of viral antagonism. Pathogen detection activates NF-κB by inducing the phosphorylation of an associated inhibitor protein (IκB), which targets IκB for degradation by the E3 ubiquitin ligase β-TrCP. Rotavirus, a significant cause of childhood gastroenteritis, antagonizes NF-κB through the activity of its NSP1 protein, a putative E3 ubiquitin ligase that mediates β-TrCP turnover. Here, we show that NSP1 functions by mimicking the IκB phosphodegron recognized by β-TrCP. Nearly all human rotavirus strains conserve this motif at the NSP1 C terminus, and its removal disrupts NSP1 antagonist activity. This sequence conserves the biochemical properties of the IκB phosphodegron and can rescue antagonist activity when fused to an NSP1 protein otherwise inactive against β-TrCP. Other viral proteins also mimic IκB to disrupt NF-κB activation, indicating that this is an important immune evasion strategy.
IMPORTANCE  
The transcription factor NF-κB, a central regulator of the host response to infection, is a frequent target of viral antagonism. Pathogen detection activates NF-κB by inducing the phosphorylation of an associated inhibitor protein (IκB), which targets IκB for degradation by the E3 ubiquitin ligase β-TrCP. Rotavirus, a significant cause of childhood gastroenteritis, antagonizes NF-κB through the activity of its NSP1 protein, a putative E3 ubiquitin ligase that mediates β-TrCP turnover. Here, we show that NSP1 functions by mimicking the IκB phosphodegron recognized by β-TrCP. Nearly all human rotavirus strains conserve this motif at the NSP1 C terminus, and its removal disrupts NSP1 antagonist activity. This sequence conserves the biochemical properties of the IκB phosphodegron and can rescue antagonist activity when fused to an NSP1 protein otherwise inactive against β-TrCP. Other viral proteins also mimic IκB to disrupt NF-κB activation, indicating that this is an important immune evasion strategy.
doi:10.1128/mBio.02490-14
PMCID: PMC4324316  PMID: 25626907
2.  Polydnavirus Ank Proteins Bind NF-κB Homodimers and Inhibit Processing of Relish 
PLoS Pathogens  2012;8(5):e1002722.
Recent studies have greatly increased understanding of how the immune system of insects responds to infection, whereas much less is known about how pathogens subvert immune defenses. Key regulators of the insect immune system are Rel proteins that form Nuclear Factor-κB (NF-κB) transcription factors, and inhibitor κB (IκB) proteins that complex with and regulate NF-κBs. Major mortality agents of insects are parasitoid wasps that carry immunosuppressive polydnaviruses (PDVs). Most PDVs encode ank genes that share features with IκBs, while our own prior studies suggested that two ank family members from Microplitis demolitor bracovirus (MdBV) (Ank-H4 and Ank-N5) behave as IκB mimics. However, the binding affinities of these viral mimics for Rel proteins relative to endogenous IκBs remained unclear. Surface plasmon resonance (SPR) and co-immunoprecipitation assays showed that the IκB Cactus from Drosophila bound Dif and Dorsal homodimers more strongly than Relish homodimers. Ank-H4 and –N5 bound Dif, Dorsal and Relish homodimers with higher affinity than the IκB domain of Relish (Rel-49), and also bound Relish homodimers more strongly than Cactus. Ank-H4 and –N5 inhibited processing of compound Relish and reduced the expression of several antimicrobial peptide genes regulated by the Imd signaling pathway in Drosophila mbn2 cells. Studies conducted in the natural host Pseudoplusia includens suggested that parasitism by M. demolitor also activates NF-κB signaling and that MdBV inhibits this response. Overall, our data provide the first quantitative measures of insect and viral IκB binding affinities, while also showing that viral mimics disable Relish processing.
Author Summary
Central to the study of host-pathogen interactions is understanding how the immune system of hosts responds to infection, and reciprocally how pathogens subvert host defenses. In the case of insects, understanding of how the immune system responds to infection greatly exceeds understanding of pathogen counterstrategies. Parasitoid wasps are key mortality agents of insects. Thousands of wasp species have also evolved a symbiotic relationship with large DNA viruses in the family Polydnaviridae whose primary function is to deliver immunosuppressive virulence genes to the insect hosts that wasps parasitize. The function of most PDV-encoded virulence genes, however, remains unknown. In this article, we investigated the function of two ank gene family members from Microplitis demolitor bracovirus (MdBV). Our results indicate that Ank-H4 and Ank-N5 function as mimics of IκB proteins, which regulate a family of transcription factors called NF-κBs that control many genes of the insect immune system. IκBs and NF-κBs also function as key regulators of the mammalian immune system. Our results thus suggest that viral Ank proteins subvert the immune system of host insects by targeting conserved signaling pathways used by a diversity of organisms.
doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1002722
PMCID: PMC3359993  PMID: 22654665
3.  Atypical IκB proteins – nuclear modulators of NF-κB signaling 
Nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) controls a multitude of physiological processes such as cell differentiation, cytokine expression, survival and proliferation. Since NF-κB governs embryogenesis, tissue homeostasis and the functions of innate and adaptive immune cells it represents one of the most important and versatile signaling networks known. Its activity is regulated via the inhibitors of NF-κB signaling, the IκB proteins. Classical IκBs, like the prototypical protein IκBα, sequester NF-κB transcription factors in the cytoplasm by masking of their nuclear localization signals (NLS). Thus, binding of NF-κB to the DNA is inhibited. The accessibility of the NLS is controlled via the degradation of IκBα. Phosphorylation of the conserved serine residues 32 and 36 leads to polyubiquitination and subsequent proteasomal degradation. This process marks the central event of canonical NF-κB activation. Once their NLS is accessible, NF-κB transcription factors translocate into the nucleus, bind to the DNA and regulate the transcription of their respective target genes. Several studies described a distinct group of atypical IκB proteins, referred to as the BCL-3 subfamily. Those atypical IκBs show entirely different sub-cellular localizations, activation kinetics and an unexpected functional diversity. First of all, their interaction with NF-κB transcription factors takes place in the nucleus in contrast to classical IκBs, whose binding to NF-κB predominantly occurs in the cytoplasm. Secondly, atypical IκBs are strongly induced after NF-κB activation, for example by LPS and IL-1β stimulation or triggering of B cell and T cell antigen receptors, but are not degraded in the first place like their conventional relatives. Finally, the interaction of atypical IκBs with DNA-associated NF-κB transcription factors can further enhance or diminish their transcriptional activity. Thus, they do not exclusively act as inhibitors of NF-κB activity. The capacity to modulate NF-κB transcription either positively or negatively, represents their most important and unique mechanistic difference to classical IκBs. Several reports revealed the importance of atypical IκB proteins for immune homeostasis and the severe consequences following their loss of function. This review summarizes insights into the physiological processes regulated by this protein class and the relevance of atypical IκB functioning.
doi:10.1186/1478-811X-11-23
PMCID: PMC3639191  PMID: 23578005
NF-kappaB; Atypical IkappaB proteins; BCL-3; IkappaBNS; IkappaBzeta; IkappaBL; Nuclear NF-kappaB modulation; IkappaB eta; MAIL; NFkBID
4.  ZBP-89 reduces histone deacetylase 3 by degrading IkappaB in the presence of Pin1 
Background
Histone deacetylase 3 (HDAC3) is overexpressed in cancers and its inhibition enhances anti-tumor chemotherapy. ZBP-89, a transcription factor, can induce pro-apoptotic Bak and reduce HDAC3 but the mechanism is unknown. Pin1, a molecular switch that determines the fate of phosphoproteins, is known to interact with HDAC3. The aim of this study was to investigate the mechanism how ZBP-89 downregulated HDAC3.
Methods
In this study, liver cells, Pin1-knockout Pin1−/− and Pin1 wild-typed Pin+/+ cells were used to explore how ZBP-89 reduced HDAC3. The overexpression of ZBP-89 was achieved by infecting cells with Ad-ZBP-89, an adenoviral construct containing ZBP-89 gene. The role of NF-κB was determined using CAY10576, MG132 and SN50, the former two being inhibitors of IκB degradation and SN50 being an inhibitor of p65/p50 translocation. A xenograft tumor model was used to confirm the in vitro data.
Results
ZBP-89 reduced HDAC3, and it could form a complex with IκB and induce IκB phosphorylation to inhibit IκB. Furthermore, ZBP-89-mediated HDAC3 reduction was suppressed by IκB degradation inhibitors CAY10576 and MG132 but not by p65/p50 translocation inhibitor SN50, indicating that IκB decrease rather than the elevated activity of NF-κB contributed to HDAC3 reduction. ZBP-89-mediated HDAC3 or IκB reduction was significantly less obvious in Pin1−/− cells compared with Pin1+/+ cells. In Ad-ZBP-89-infected Pin1+/+ cancer cells, Pin1 siRNA increased HDAC3 but decreased Bak, compared with cells without ZBP-89 infection. These findings indicate that Pin1 participates in ZBP-89-mediated HDAC3 downregulation and Bak upregulation. The cell culture result was confirmed by in vivo mouse tumor model experiments.
Conclusions
ZBP-89 attenuates HDAC3 by increasing IκB degradation. Such attenuation is independent of NF-κB activity but partially depends on Pin1. The novel pathway identified may help generate new anti-cancer strategy by targeting HDAC3 and its related molecules.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12967-015-0382-7) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1186/s12967-015-0382-7
PMCID: PMC4311446  PMID: 25623232
ZBP-89; HDAC3; Pin1; IκB; Hepatocellular carcinoma
5.  NF-κB is activated in response to temozolomide in an AKT-dependent manner and confers protection against the growth suppressive effect of the drug 
Background
Most DNA-damaging chemotherapeutic agents activate the transcription factor nuclear factor κB (NF-κB). However, NF-κB activation can either protect from or contribute to the growth suppressive effects of the agent. We previously showed that the DNA-methylating drug temozolomide (TMZ) activates AKT, a positive modulator of NF-κB, in a mismatch repair (MMR) system-dependent manner. Here we investigated whether NF-κB is activated by TMZ and whether AKT is involved in this molecular event. We also evaluated the functional consequence of inhibiting NF-κB on tumor cell response to TMZ.
Methods
AKT phosphorylation, NF-κB transcriptional activity, IκB-α degradation, NF-κB2/p52 generation, and RelA and NF-κB2/p52 nuclear translocation were investigated in TMZ-treated MMR-deficient (HCT116, 293TLα-) and/or MMR-proficient (HCT116/3-6, 293TLα+, M10) cells. AKT involvement in TMZ-induced activation of NF-κB was addressed in HCT116/3-6 and M10 cells transiently transfected with AKT1-targeting siRNA or using the isogenic MMR-proficient cell lines pUSE2 and KD12, expressing wild type or kinase-dead mutant AKT1. The effects of inhibiting NF-κB on sensitivity to TMZ were investigated in HCT116/3-6 and M10 cells using the NF-κB inhibitor NEMO-binding domain (NBD) peptide or an anti-RelA siRNA.
Results
TMZ enhanced NF-κB transcriptional activity, activated AKT, induced IκB-α degradation and RelA nuclear translocation in HCT116/3-6 and M10 but not in HCT116 cells. In M10 cells, TMZ promoted NF-κB2/p52 generation and nuclear translocation and enhanced the secretion of IL-8 and MCP-1. TMZ induced RelA nuclear translocation also in 293TLα+ but not in 293TLα- cells. AKT1 silencing inhibited TMZ-induced IκB-α degradation and NF-κB2/p52 generation. Up-regulation of NF-κB transcriptional activity and nuclear translocation of RelA and NF-κB2/p52 in response to TMZ were impaired in KD12 cells. RelA silencing in HCT116/3-6 and M10 cells increased TMZ-induced growth suppression. In M10 cells NBD peptide reduced basal NF-κB activity, abrogated TMZ-induced up-regulation of NF-κB activity and increased sensitivity to TMZ. In HCT116/3-6 cells, the combined treatment with NBD peptide and TMZ produced additive growth inhibitory effects.
Conclusion
NF-κB is activated in response to TMZ in a MMR- and AKT-dependent manner and confers protection against drug-induced cell growth inhibition. Our findings suggest that a clinical benefit could be obtained by combining TMZ with NF-κB inhibitors.
doi:10.1186/1479-5876-10-252
PMCID: PMC3551789  PMID: 23259744
Nuclear factor κB; AKT; Temozolomide; NEMO binding domain peptide; Cell proliferation; Cell senescence
6.  New insights into the role and mechanism of macrophage migration inhibitory factor in steroid-resistant patients with systemic lupus erythematosus 
Arthritis Research & Therapy  2012;14(3):R103.
Introduction
Glucocorticoid (GC) therapy remains important in improving the prognosis of patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). However, some patients do not achieve an effective response with GC treatment, creating an obstacle to the remission of SLE. Identification of the underlying mechanisms responsible for steroid resistance can be significant. Macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) arouses our interest because of its reciprocal relationship with GCs. In the present study, we investigated for the first time whether MIF correlated with steroid resistance in SLE and explored potential mechanisms of action.
Methods
Sixty-two patients with SLE (40 steroid sensitive and 22 steroid resistant) and 21 normal controls were recruited. Serum levels of MIF were measured by ELISA. Cytosolic MIF and IκB expression in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) were determined by western blotting. The electrophoretic mobility shift assay was assessed by NF-κB in nuclear aliquots. Gene silencing was applied to reduce expression of MIF in PBMCs in steroid-resistant patients. PBMCs obtained from steroid-sensitive patients were treated with recombinant human MIF of different concentrations.
Results
MIF levels in serum and PBMCs were higher in steroid-resistant patients compared with steroid-sensitive patients and controls. In contrast to the steroid-sensitive group, NF-κB levels were significantly higher and IκB levels lower in steroid-resistant patients. After MIF gene silencing, IκB levels in cells from steroid-resistant patients were increased. In steroid-sensitive patients, a decrease in IκB levels and an increase in NF-κB expression from baseline were detected in PBMCs treated with a higher concentration of recombinant human MIF. Treatment with recombinant human MIF did not regulate expression of IκB and NF-κB in PBMCs from patients treated with an anti-MIF monoclonal antibody.
Conclusions
Our results indicated that MIF may play a role in the formation of steroid resistance in SLE by affecting the NF-κB/IκB signaling cascade. As a regulator of glucocorticoid sensitivity, MIF may be a potential target for steroid sparing.
doi:10.1186/ar3828
PMCID: PMC3446480  PMID: 22551315
7.  PMS1077 Sensitizes TNF-α Induced Apoptosis in Human Prostate Cancer Cells by Blocking NF-κB Signaling Pathway 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(4):e61132.
Our previous studies have demonstrated that PMS1077, a platelet-activating factor (PAF) antagonist, could induce apoptosis of Raji cells. However, the mechanism of action has not yet been determined. The nuclear transcription factor-kappa B (NF-κB) signaling pathway plays a critical role in tumor cell survival, proliferation, invasion, metastasis, and angiogenesis, so we determined the effects of PMS1077 and its structural analogs on tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) induced activation of NF-κB signaling. In this study, we found that PMS1077 inhibited TNF-α induced expression of the NF-κB regulated reporter gene in a dose dependent manner. Western blot assay indicated that PMS1077 suppressed the TNF-α induced inhibitor of κB-α (IκB-α) phosphorylation, IκB-α degradation, and p65 phosphorylation. PMS1077 consistently blocked TNF-α induced p65 nuclear translocation as demonstrated in the immunofluorescence assay used. Docking studies by molecular modeling predicted that PMS1077 might interact directly with the IκB kinase-β (IKK-β) subunit. These results suggested that PMS1077 might suppress the activation of NF-κB by targeting IKK-β involved in the NF-κB signaling pathway. Finally, we showed that PMS1077 sensitized cells to TNF-α induced apoptosis by suppressing the expression of NF-κB regulated anti-apoptotic genes. Our results reveal a novel function of PMS1077 on the NF-κB signaling pathway and imply that PMS1077 can be considered as an anti-tumor lead compound.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0061132
PMCID: PMC3621893  PMID: 23593410
8.  Elevated Toll-Like Receptor 4 Expression and Signaling in Muscle From Insulin-Resistant Subjects 
Diabetes  2008;57(10):2595-2602.
OBJECTIVE— Tall-like receptor (TLR)4 has been implicated in the pathogenesis of free fatty acid (FFA)-induced insulin resistance by activating inflammatory pathways, including inhibitor of κB (IκB)/nuclear factor κB (NFκB). However, it is not known whether insulin-resistant subjects have abnormal TLR4 signaling. We examined whether insulin-resistant subjects have abnormal TLR4 expression and TLR4-driven (IκB/NFκB) signaling in skeletal muscle.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS— TLR4 gene expression and protein content were measured in muscle biopsies in 7 lean, 8 obese, and 14 type 2 diabetic subjects. A primary human myotube culture system was used to examine whether FFAs stimulate IκB/NFκB via TLR4 and whether FFAs increase TLR4 expression/content in muscle.
RESULTS— Obese and type 2 diabetic subjects had significantly elevated TLR4 gene expression and protein content in muscle. TLR4 muscle protein content correlated with the severity of insulin resistance. Obese and type 2 diabetic subjects also had lower IκBα content, an indication of elevated IκB/NFκB signaling. The increase in TLR4 and NFκB signaling was accompanied by elevated expression of the NFκB-regulated genes interleukin (IL)-6 and superoxide dismutase (SOD)2. In primary human myotubes, acute palmitate treatment stimulated IκB/NFκB, and blockade of TLR4 prevented the ability of palmitate to stimulate the IκB/NFκB pathway. Increased TLR4 content and gene expression observed in muscle from insulin-resistant subjects were reproduced by treating myotubes from lean, normal-glucose-tolerant subjects with palmitate. Palmitate also increased IL-6 and SOD2 gene expression, and this effect was prevented by inhibiting NFκB.
CONCLUSIONS— Abnormal TLR4 expression and signaling, possibly caused by elevated plasma FFA levels, may contribute to the pathogenesis of insulin resistance in humans.
doi:10.2337/db08-0038
PMCID: PMC2551667  PMID: 18633101
9.  Control of Toll-like Receptor-mediated T Cell-independent Type 1 Antibody Responses by the Inducible Nuclear Protein IκB-ζ* 
The Journal of Biological Chemistry  2014;289(45):30925-30936.
Background: IκB-ζ, a member of the IκB family of nuclear proteins that regulates transcription, can be induced by Toll-like receptor (TLR) signaling.
Results: IκB-ζ deficiency in B cells reduced T cell-independent antibody response-1.
Conclusion: IκB-ζ is a key regulator of TLR-mediated class switch recombination (CSR) in B cells.
Significance: T cell-dependent and -independent antibody responses are regulated by different mechanisms.
Antibody responses have been classified as being either T cell-dependent or T cell-independent (TI). TI antibody responses are further classified as being either type 1 (TI-1) or type 2 (TI-2), depending on their requirement for B cell-mediated antigen receptor signaling. Although the mechanistic basis of antibody responses has been studied extensively, it remains unclear whether different antibody responses share similarities in their transcriptional regulation. Here, we show that mice deficient in IκB-ζ, specifically in their B cells, have impaired TI-1 antibody responses but normal T cell-dependent and TI-2 antibody responses. The absence of IκB-ζ in B cells also impaired proliferation triggered by Toll-like receptor (TLR) activation, plasma cell differentiation, and class switch recombination (CSR). Mechanistically, IκB-ζ-deficient B cells could not induce TLR-mediated induction of activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID), a class-switch DNA recombinase. Retroviral transduction of AID in IκB-ζ-deficient B cells restored CSR activity. Furthermore, acetylation of histone H3 in the vicinity of the transcription start site of the gene that encodes AID was reduced in IκB-ζ-deficient B cells relative to IκB-ζ-expressing B cells. These results indicate that IκB-ζ regulates TLR-mediated CSR by inducing AID. Moreover, IκB-ζ defines differences in the transcriptional regulation of different antibody responses.
doi:10.1074/jbc.M114.553230
PMCID: PMC4223300  PMID: 25124037
Cell Differentiation; Cellular Immune Response; Immunology; Toll-like Receptor (TLR); Transcription Factor; B Cell; IκB-z; Activation-induced Cytidine Deaminase (AID)
10.  The TCL1A Oncoprotein Interacts Directly with the NF-κB Inhibitor IκB 
PLoS ONE  2009;4(8):e6567.
The T cell leukaemia/lymphoma 1A (TCL1A) oncoprotein plays key roles in several B and T cell malignancies. Lacking enzymatic activity, TCL1A's transforming action was linked to its capacity to co-activate the protein kinase AKT via binding to its pleckstrin homology (PH) domain. However, perturbation of AKT signalling alone was recently shown insufficient to explain TCL1A oncogenesis, suggesting that TCL1A has additional cellular partners. Searching for such additional targets, we found that TCL1A binds specifically and directly to the ankyrin domain of IκB, the inhibitor of the NF-κB transcription factors. Through binding assays and a structural analysis by small angle X-ray scattering, we show that TCL1A and IκB interact in yeast-two-hybrid systems, when transiently overexpressed in 293 cells, and as recombinant proteins in vitro. We further establish that the association between TCL1A and IκB is compatible with AKT binding to TCL1A, but incompatible with IκB binding to NF-κB. By interfering with the inhibition of NF-κB by IκB, TCL1A may increase the concentration of free NF-κB molecules sufficiently to trigger expression of anti-apoptotic genes. Thus our data suggest an additional route by which TCL1A might cause cancer.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0006567
PMCID: PMC2718698  PMID: 19668332
11.  IκB Is a Substrate for a Selective Pathway of Lysosomal Proteolysis 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  1998;9(8):1995-2010.
In lysosomes isolated from rat liver and spleen, a percentage of the intracellular inhibitor of the nuclear factor κ B (IκB) can be detected in the lysosomal matrix where it is rapidly degraded. Levels of IκB are significantly higher in a lysosomal subpopulation that is active in the direct uptake of specific cytosolic proteins. IκB is directly transported into isolated lysosomes in a process that requires binding of IκB to the heat shock protein of 73 kDa (hsc73), the cytosolic molecular chaperone involved in this pathway, and to the lysosomal glycoprotein of 96 kDa (lgp96), the receptor protein in the lysosomal membrane. Other substrates for this degradation pathway competitively inhibit IκB uptake by lysosomes. Ubiquitination and phosphorylation of IκB are not required for its targeting to lysosomes. The lysosomal degradation of IκB is activated under conditions of nutrient deprivation. Thus, the half-life of a long-lived pool of IκB is 4.4 d in serum-supplemented Chinese hamster ovary cells but only 0.9 d in serum-deprived Chinese hamster ovary cells. This increase in IκB degradation can be completely blocked by lysosomal inhibitors. In Chinese hamster ovary cells exhibiting an increased activity of the hsc73-mediated lysosomal degradation pathway due to overexpression of lamp2, the human form of lgp96, the degradation of IκB is increased. There are both short- and long-lived pools of IκB, and it is the long-lived pool that is subjected to the selective lysosomal degradation pathway. In the presence of antioxidants, the half-life of the long-lived pool of IκB is significantly increased. Thus, the production of intracellular reactive oxygen species during serum starvation may be one of the mechanisms mediating IκB degradation in lysosomes. This selective pathway of lysosomal degradation of IκB is physiologically important since prolonged serum deprivation results in an increase in the nuclear activity of nuclear factor κ B. In addition, the response of nuclear factor κ B to several stimuli increases when this lysosomal pathway of proteolysis is activated.
PMCID: PMC25451  PMID: 9693362
12.  Glycyrrhetinic acid inhibits ICAM-1 expression via blocking JNK and NF-κB pathways in TNF-α-activated endothelial cells 
Acta Pharmacologica Sinica  2010;31(5):546-553.
Aim:
To investigate the effects of glycyrrhetinic acid (GA), an active component extracted from the root of Glycyrrhizae glabra, on the expression of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) in tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α)-activated human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC).
Methods:
ICAM-1 mRNA and protein levels were detected using RT-PCR and cell enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. The adherence of human monocytic THP-1 cells labeled with [3H]thymidine to HUVEC was determined by counting radioactivity with a scintillation counter. The activation of mitogen-activated protein kinases as well as the degradation of IκB and nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) or phospho-c-Jun in the nucleus were detected by western blots. NF-κB binding activity was detected using electrophoretic mobility shift assay.
Results:
GA (50 and 100 μmol/L) significantly inhibits TNF-α-induced ICAM-1 mRNA and protein expressions, as well as THP-1 cell adhesiveness in HUVEC. GA selectively inhibited TNF-α-activated signal pathway of c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), without affecting extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 and p38. Furthermore, GA apparently inhibited IκB/NF-κB signaling system by preventing IκB degradation, NF-κB translocation, and NF-κB/DNA binding activity. Finally, pretreatment with GA or the inhibitors of NF-κB, JNK, and p38 reduced the ICAM-1 protein expression induced by TNF-α.
Conclusion:
GA inhibits TNF-α-stimulated ICAM-1 expression, leading to a decrease in adherent monocytes to HUVEC. This inhibition is attributed to GA interruption of both JNK/c-Jun and IκB/NF-κB signaling pathways, which decrease activator protein-1 (AP-1) and NF-κB mediated ICAM-1 expressions. The results suggest that GA may provide a beneficial effect in treating vascular diseases associated with inflammation, such as atherosclerosis.
doi:10.1038/aps.2010.34
PMCID: PMC4002749  PMID: 20418897
glycyrrhetinic acid; intercellular adhesion molecule 1; tumor necrosis factor α; nuclear factor-κB; mitogen-activated protein kinases
13.  A quantitative study of the cell-type specific modulation of c-Rel by hydrogen peroxide and TNF-α 
Redox Biology  2013;1(1):347-352.
Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) at moderate steady-state concentrations synergizes with TNF-α, leading to increased nuclear levels of NF-κB p65 subunit and to a cell-type specific up-regulation of a limited number of NF-κB-dependent genes. Here, we address how H2O2 achieves this molecular specificity. HeLa and MCF-7 cells were exposed to steady-state H2O2 and/or TNF-α and levels of c-Rel, p65, IκB-α, IκB-β and IκB-ε were determined. For an extracellular concentration of 25 µM H2O2, the intracellular H2O2 concentration is 3.7 µM and 12.5 µM for respectively HeLa and MCF-7 cells. The higher cytosolic H2O2 concentration present in MCF-7 cells may be a contributing factor for the higher activation of NF-κB caused by H2O2 in this cell line, when compared to HeLa cells. In both cells lines, H2O2 precludes the recovery of TNF-α-dependent IκB-α degradation, which may explain the observed synergism between H2O2 and TNF-α concerning p65 nuclear translocation. In MCF-7 cells, H2O2, in the presence of TNF-α, tripled the induction of c-Rel triggered either by TNF-α or H2O2. Conversely, in HeLa cells, H2O2 had a small antagonistic effect on TNF-α-induced c-Rel nuclear levels, concomitantly with a 50 % induction of IκB-ε, the preferential inhibitor protein of c-Rel dimers. The 6-fold higher c-Rel/IκB-ε ratio found in MCF-7 cells when compared with HeLa cells, may be a contributing factor for the cell-type dependent modulation of c-Rel by H2O2.
Our results suggest that H2O2 might have an important cell-type specific role in the regulation of c-Rel-dependent processes, e.g. cancer or wound healing.
Graphical abstract
Highlights
•Selective modulation of individual NF-κB-dependent genes expression by H2O2.•In MCF-7 cells H2O2 tripled the TNF-α 4-fold induction of c-Rel nuclear levels.•In HeLa cells, H2O2 had an antagonistic effect on TNF-α induced c-Rel translocation.•c-Rel dimers bind chiefly to IκB-α/IκB-ε in MCF-7 cells and to IκB-ε in HeLa cells.
doi:10.1016/j.redox.2013.05.004
PMCID: PMC3757704  PMID: 24024170
GPx, glutathione peroxidase; H2O2, hydrogen peroxide; IκB-α, inhibitory protein α of NF-κB; IκB-β, inhibitory protein β of NF-κB; IκB-ε, inhibitory protein ε of NF-κB; MTT, 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide; NF-κB, nuclear factor-kappa B; TNF-α, tumor necrosis factor-alpha; NF-κB; Steady-state; H2O2 gradient; HeLa cells; MCF-7 cells; Inflammation
14.  Therapeutic effect of a hydroxynaphthoquinone fraction on dextran sulfate sodium-induced ulcerative colitis 
World Journal of Gastroenterology : WJG  2014;20(41):15310-15318.
AIM: To evaluate the therapeutic effect of hydroxynaphthoquinone mixture (HM) on dextran sulfate sodium (DSS)-induced colitis and explore the underlying mechanisms.
METHODS: BALB/c mice received 3.5% DSS for 6 d to induce ulcerative colitis. Groups of mice were orally administered HM 3.5, 7 and 14 mg/kg and mesalazine 200 mg/kg per day for 7 d. During the experiment, clinical signs and body weight, stool consistency and visible fecal blood were monitored and recorded daily. A disease activity index score was calculated for each animal. At the conclusion of the experiment, the colonic histopathological lesions were evaluated. Myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) levels were determined. Protein expression levels of TNF-α, nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) p65, inhibitor of κB (IκB) and phosphorylation of IκB (p-IκB) were analyzed by Western blot analysis.
RESULTS: Administration of 3.5% DSS for 6 d successfully induced acute colitis associated with soft stool, diarrhea, rectal bleeding, and colon shortening, as well as a loss of body weight. Administration of HM effectively attenuated the severity of colonic mucosa injury. For histopathological analysis, HM treatment improved histological alterations and lowered pathological scores compared with the DSS only group. This manifested as a reduction in the extent of colon injury and inflammatory cell infiltration, as well as the degree of mucosal destruction. In addition, HM at doses of 7 and 14 mg/kg significantly decreased MPO activity in colonic tissue (0.98 ± 0.22 U/g vs 1.32 ± 0.24 U/g, 0.89 ± 0.37 U/g vs 1.32 ± 0.24 U/g tissue, P < 0.05) and serum TNF-α levels (68.78 ± 7.34 ng/L vs 88.98 ± 17.79 ng/L, 64.13 ± 14.13 ng/L vs 88.98 ± 17.79 ng/L, P < 0.05). Furthermore, HM down-regulated the expression of TNF-α, NF-κB p65 and p-IκBα in colonic tissue while up-regulating IκBα protein expression. These results suggest that the significant anti-inflammatory effect of HM may be attributable to its inhibition of TNF-α production and NF-κB activation.
CONCLUSION: HM had a favorable therapeutic effect on DSS-induced ulcerative colitis, supporting its further development and clinical application in inflammatory bowel disease.
doi:10.3748/wjg.v20.i41.15310
PMCID: PMC4223264  PMID: 25386079
Arnebia euchroma (Royle) Johnst; Hydroxynaphthoquinones; Inflammatory bowel disease; Dextran sulfate sodium-induced ulcerative colitis; Nuclear factor-κB activation
15.  Targeting IκB Proteins for HIV Latency Activation: the Role of Individual IκB and NF-κB Proteins 
Journal of Virology  2013;87(7):3966-3978.
Latently infected cell reservoirs represent the main barrier to HIV eradication. Combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) effectively blocks viral replication but cannot purge latent provirus. One approach to HIV eradication could include cART to block new infections plus an agent to activate latent provirus. NF-κB activation induces HIV expression, ending latency. Before activation, IκB proteins sequester NF-κB dimers in the cytoplasm. Three canonical IκBs, IκBα, IκBβ, and IκBε, exist, but the IκB proteins' role in HIV activation regulation is not fully understood. We studied the effects on HIV activation of targeting IκBs by single and pairwise small interfering RNA (siRNA) knockdown. After determining the relative abundance of the IκBs, the relative abundance of NF-κB subunits held by the IκBs, and the kinetics of IκB degradation and resynthesis following knockdown, we studied HIV activation by IκB knockdown, in comparison with those of known HIV activators, tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), tetradecanoyl phorbol acetate (TPA), and trichostatin A (TSA), in U1 monocytic and J-Lat 10.6 lymphocytic latently infected cells. We found that IκBα knockdown activated HIV in both U1 and J-Lat 10.6 cells, IκBβ knockdown did not activate HIV, and, surprisingly, IκBε knockdown produced the most HIV activation, comparable to TSA activation. Our data show that HIV reactivation can be triggered by targeting two different IκB proteins and that IκBε may be an effective target for HIV latency reactivation in T-cell and macrophage lineages. IκBε knockdown may offer attractive therapeutic advantages for HIV activation because it is not essential for mammalian growth and development and because new siRNA delivery strategies may target siRNAs to HIV latently infected cells.
doi:10.1128/JVI.03251-12
PMCID: PMC3624191  PMID: 23365428
16.  Reversion of Multidrug-Resistance by Proteasome Inhibitor Bortezomib in K562/DNR Cell Line 
Objective
To observe the reversion of multi-drug resistance by proteasome inhibitor bortezomib in K562/DNR cell line and to analyze the possible mechanism of reversion of multidrug-resistance.
Methods
MTT method was used to determine the drug resistance of K562/DNR cells and the cellular toxicity of bortezomib. K562/DNR cells were cultured for 12 hours, 24 hours and 36 hours with 100 μg/ml DNR only or plus 4 μg/L bortezomib. The expressions of NF-κB, IκB and P-gp of K562/DNR were detected with Western blot method, the activity of NF-κB was tested by ELISA method and the apoptosis rate was observed in each group respectively.
Results
The IC50 of DNR on cells of K562/S and K562/DNR groups were 1.16 μg/ml and 50.43 μg/mL, respectively. The drug-resistant fold was 43.47. The IC10 of PS-341 on Cell strain K562/DNR was 4 μg/L. Therefore, 4 μg/L was selected as the concentration for PS-341 to reverse drug-resistance in this study. DNR induced down-regulation of IκB expression, up-regulation of NF-κB and P-gp expression. After treatment with PS-341, a proteasome inhibitor, the IκB degradation was inhibited, IκB expression increased, NF-κB and P-gp expression decreased in a time dependent manner. Compared to DNR group, the NF-κB p65 activity of DNR+PS-341 group was decreased. Compared to corresponding DNR group, DNR induced apoptosis rate increases after addition of PS-341 in a time dependent manner.
Conclusion
Proteasome inhibitor bortezomib can convert the leukemia cell drug resistance. The mechanism may be that bortezomib decreases the degradation of IκB and the expression of NF-κB and P-gp, therefore induces the apoptosis of multi-drug resistant cells.
doi:10.1007/s11670-011-0069-4
PMCID: PMC3587529  PMID: 23467537
Bortezomib; NF-κB; Multi-drug resistance; mdr1 gene; P-gp; K562 cells
17.  Urine and Serum Analysis of Consumed Curcuminoids Using an IκB-Luciferase Surrogate Marker Assay 
In vivo (Athens, Greece)  2010;24(6):861-864.
Background
Curcumin metabolites are detectable in body fluids such as serum and urine. We have developed a novel assay that can detect metabolites in such body fluids by measuring their effect on the nuclear factor kappa B/inhibitor of kappa B (NF-κB/IκB) pathway.
Patients and Methods
Fifteen healthy individuals were enrolled in the study and randomly assigned to two groups: control group (five) and curcumin group (ten). The test group ingested 8 g of the curcuminoids (C3-Complex™) with 16 oz of bottled water. Blood and urine were collected at 0, 4, 8, and 24 h after ingestion. Degradation of the NF-κB/IκB complex was detected by the Genetic Expression and Measurement (GEM™) assay using HCT116 cells stably transfected with PGL3-IκB firefly luciferase.
Results
Using our novel GEM assay, the five controls who had not taken curcumin were identified.
Conclusion
The GEM assay is a very sensitive and accurate non-invasive assay that could be utilized to detect metabolites in body fluids. It could also serve as a tool to determine participants’ compliance during clinical research studies.
PMCID: PMC3050505  PMID: 21164045
Curcumin; clinical trial; urinalysis; GEM assay
18.  Inhibition of I κ B-α phosphorylation at serine and tyrosine acts independently on sensitization to DNA damaging agents in human glioma cells 
British Journal of Cancer  1999;82(1):28-33.
Molecular mechanisms and/or intrinsic factors controlling cellular radiosensitivity are not fully understood in mammalian cells. The recent studies have suggested that nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) is one of such factors. The activation and regulation of NF-κB are tightly controlled by IκB-α, a cellular inhibitory protein of NF-κB. Most importantly, phosphorylation regulates activity of the inhibitor IκB-α, which sequesters NF-κB in the cytosol. Two different pathways for the phosphorylation of IκB-α are demonstrated, such as serine (at residues 32 and 36) and tyrosine (at residue 42) phosphorylations. To assess a role of the transcription factor, NF-κB, on cellular sensitivity to DNA damaging agents, we constructed three different types of expression plasmids, i.e. S-IκB (mutations at residues 32 and 36), Y-IκB (mutation at residue 42) and SY-IκB (mutations at residues 32, 36 and 42). The cell clones expressing S-IκB and Y-IκB proteins became sensitive to X-rays as compared with the parental and vector-transfected cells. The cell clones expressing SY-IκB were further radiosensitive. By the treatment with herbimycin A, an inhibitor of phosphorylation, the X-ray sensitivity of cells expressing SY-IκB did not change, while that of the cells expressing S-IκB and Y-IκB and the parental cells was enhanced. Change in the sensitivity to adriamycin and UV in those clones was very similar to that in the X-ray sensitivity. The inhibition of IκB-α phosphorylation at serine and tyrosine acts independently on the sensitization to X-rays, adriamycin and UV. These findings suggest that the transcriptional activation induced by NF-κB may play a role in the DNA damage repair. The present study proposes a possibility that the inactivation of NF-κB by inhibition of both serine and tyrosine phosphorylations may be useful for the treatment of cancer in radio- and chemotherapies. © 2000 Cancer Research Campaign
doi:10.1054/bjoc.1999.0872
PMCID: PMC2363178  PMID: 10638962
IκB-α; NF-κB; phosphorylation; DNA damaging agents; human glioma cells
19.  IKKα Contributes to Canonical NF-κB Activation Downstream of Nod1-Mediated Peptidoglycan Recognition 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(10):e15371.
Background
During pathogen infection, innate immunity is initiated via the recognition of microbial products by pattern recognition receptors and the subsequent activation of transcription factors that upregulate proinflammatory genes. By controlling the expression of cytokines, chemokines, anti-bacterial peptides and adhesion molecules, the transcription factor nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) has a central function in this process. In a typical model of NF-κB activation, the recognition of pathogen associated molecules triggers the canonical NF-κB pathway that depends on the phosphorylation of Inhibitor of NF-κB (IκB) by the catalytic subunit IκB kinase β (IKKβ), its degradation and the nuclear translocation of NF-κB dimers.
Methodology
Here, we performed an RNA interference (RNAi) screen on Shigella flexneri-induced NF-κB activation to identify new factors involved in the regulation of NF-κB following infection of epithelial cells by invasive bacteria. By targeting a subset of the human signaling proteome, we found that the catalytic subunit IKKα is also required for complete NF-κB activation during infection. Depletion of IKKα by RNAi strongly reduces the nuclear translocation of NF-κB p65 during S. flexneri infection as well as the expression of the proinflammatory chemokine interleukin-8. Similar to IKKβ, IKKα contributes to the phosphorylation of IκBα on serines 32 and 36, and to its degradation. Experiments performed with the synthetic Nod1 ligand L-Ala-D-γ-Glu-meso-diaminopimelic acid confirmed that IKKα is involved in NF-κB activation triggered downstream of Nod1-mediated peptidoglycan recognition.
Conclusions
Taken together, these results demonstrate the unexpected role of IKKα in the canonical NF-κB pathway triggered by peptidoglycan recognition during bacterial infection. In addition, they suggest that IKKα may be an important drug target for the development of treatments that aim at limiting inflammation in bacterial infection.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0015371
PMCID: PMC2955547  PMID: 20976174
20.  Activation of p38 Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase by Sodium Salicylate Leads to Inhibition of Tumor Necrosis Factor-Induced IκBα Phosphorylation and Degradation 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  1998;18(1):78-84.
Many actions of the proinflammatory cytokines tumor necrosis factor (TNF) and interleukin-1 (IL-1) on gene expression are mediated by the transcription factor NF-κB. Activation of NF-κB by TNF and IL-1 is initiated by the phosphorylation of the inhibitory subunit, IκB, which targets IκB for degradation and leads to the release of active NF-κB. The nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug sodium salicylate (NaSal) interferes with TNF-induced NF-κB activation by inhibiting phosphorylation and subsequent degradation of the IκBα protein. Recent evidence indicated that NaSal activates the p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), raising the possibility that inhibition of NF-κB activation by NaSal is mediated by p38 MAPK. We now show that inhibition of TNF-induced IκBα phosphorylation and degradation by NaSal is prevented by treatment of cells with SB203580, a highly specific p38 MAPK inhibitor. Both p38 activation and inhibition of TNF-induced IκBα degradation were seen after only 30 s to 1 min of NaSal treatment. Induction of p38 MAPK activation and inhibition of TNF-induced IκBα degradation were demonstrated with pharmacologically achievable doses of NaSal. These findings provide evidence for a role of NaSal-induced p38 MAPK activation in the inhibition of TNF signaling and suggest a possible role for the p38 MAPK in the anti-inflammatory actions of salicylates. In addition, these results implicate the p38 MAPK as a possible negative regulator of TNF signaling that leads to NF-κB activation.
PMCID: PMC121454  PMID: 9418855
21.  Structure-Function Relationship of Cytoplasmic and Nuclear IκB Proteins: An In Silico Analysis 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(12):e15782.
Cytoplasmic IκB proteins are primary regulators that interact with NF-κB subunits in the cytoplasm of unstimulated cells. Upon stimulation, these IκB proteins are rapidly degraded, thus allowing NF-κB to translocate into the nucleus and activate the transcription of genes encoding various immune mediators. Subsequent to translocation, nuclear IκB proteins play an important role in the regulation of NF-κB transcriptional activity by acting either as activators or inhibitors. To date, molecular basis for the binding of IκBα, IκBβ and IκBζ along with their partners is known; however, the activation and inhibition mechanism of the remaining IκB (IκBNS, IκBε and Bcl-3) proteins remains elusive. Moreover, even though IκB proteins are structurally similar, it is difficult to determine the exact specificities of IκB proteins towards their respective binding partners. The three-dimensional structures of IκBNS, IκBζ and IκBε were modeled. Subsequently, we used an explicit solvent method to perform detailed molecular dynamic simulations of these proteins along with their known crystal structures (IκBα, IκBβ and Bcl-3) in order to investigate the flexibility of the ankyrin repeat domains (ARDs). Furthermore, the refined models of IκBNS, IκBε and Bcl-3 were used for multiple protein-protein docking studies for the identification of IκBNS-p50/p50, IκBε-p50/p65 and Bcl-3-p50/p50 complexes in order to study the structural basis of their activation and inhibition. The docking experiments revealed that IκBε masked the nuclear localization signal (NLS) of the p50/p65 subunits, thereby preventing its translocation into the nucleus. For the Bcl-3- and IκBNS-p50/p50 complexes, the results show that Bcl-3 mediated transcription through its transactivation domain (TAD) while IκBNS inhibited transcription due to its lack of a TAD, which is consistent with biochemical studies. Additionally, the numbers of identified flexible residues were equal in number among all IκB proteins, although they were not conserved. This could be the primary reason for their binding partner specificities.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0015782
PMCID: PMC3009747  PMID: 21203422
22.  Inflammatory Responses of Corneal Epithelial Cells to Pseudomonas aeruginosa Infection 
Current eye research  2005;30(7):527-534.
Purpose
We hypothesized that corneal epithelium plays a role in the innate immune response by sensing the presence of pathogens and providing signals that activate the corneal defense system. We sought to determine the mechanisms involved in the activation of the signaling pathways and subsequent production of proinflammatory cytokines in human corneal epithelial cells (HCECs) in response to Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection.
Methods
Epithelial monolayers of a telomerase-immortalized HCEC line, HUCL, and primary cultures of HCECs were exposed to P. aeruginosa (PA01 strain) with or without the presence of the NF-κB inhibitor kamebakaurin, the p38 inhibitor SB203580, or the JNK inhibitor SP600125. IκB-α phosphorylation and degradation and p38 and JNK phosphorylation were assessed at different time points by Western blot analysis. Interleukin (IL)-6, IL-8, and TNF-αlevels were determined by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA).
Results
Exposure of HUCL cells and primary HCECs to P. aeruginosa resulted in rapid activation of NF-κB as indicated by an increase in IκB-α phosphorylation observed within 15 min and by IκB-αdegradation, which peaked in 1 hr. Two stress-activated mitogen-activated protein kinases, p38 and JNK, were also activated as their phosphorylation was induced by P. aeruginosa infection. Concomitant with the activation of these Toll-like receptor–mediated signaling pathways, transcriptional expression and subsequent secretion of IL-6 and IL-8 in HUCL cells were also induced by P. aeruginosa. Presence of the NF-κB inhibitor kamebakaurin in culture medium blocked P. aeruginosa–induced NF-κB activation and inhibited IL-6, IL-8, and TNF-αexpression and secretion. Inhibition of p38 or JNK also resulted in a decrease in bacteria-induced expression and secretion of these cytokines.
Conclusions: P. aeruginosa
triggers an innate immune response in HCECs, and NF-κB and, to a lesser extent, the p38/JNK signal pathways are responsible for P. aeruginosa–induced proinflammatory cytokine production in these cells.
doi:10.1080/02713680590968150
PMCID: PMC2666384  PMID: 16020286
bacterial keratitis; corneal epithelium; proinflammatory cytokines; Pseudomonas aeruginosa; Toll-like receptors
23.  Mycobacterium bovis Bacillus Calmette-Guérin Induces CCL5 Secretion via the Toll-Like Receptor 2-NF-κB and -Jun N-Terminal Kinase Signaling Pathways▿  
In response to Mycobacterium bovis bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG), CC chemokines are secreted from host cells to attract components of the innate and adaptive immune systems to the site of infection. Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2) has been shown to recognize M. bovis BCG and to initiate signaling pathways that result in enhanced secretion of CC chemokines. Despite the essential requirement of TLR2 in M. bovis BCG infection, the mechanisms by which it induces secretion of CC chemokines are not well defined. In this study, we report that stimulation of HEK293 cells expressing human TLR2 with M. bovis BCG resulted in increased CCL2 and CCL5 secretion, as determined by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. M. bovis BCG infection resulted in the activation of c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), and the inhibition of JNK activity had a significant effect on M. bovis BCG-dependent CCL5 secretion in TLR2-expressing cells but no effect on M. bovis BCG-dependent CCL2 secretion from infected HEK293 cells expressing human TLR2. The M. bovis BCG-induced CCL5 release was attenuated by sulfasalazine (a well-described inhibitor of NF-κB activity), BAY 11-7082 (an IκB phosphorylation inhibitor), and ALLN (a well-described inhibitor of NF-κB activation that prevents degradation of IκB and eventually results in a lack of translocated NF-κB in the nucleus). In addition, stimulation of TLR2-expressing cells with M. bovis BCG resulted in translocation of NF-κB subunits from the cytoplasmic to the nuclear fraction, and stimulation of cells with M. bovis BCG activated IκB kinase αβ. These findings indicate that M. bovis BCG induces CCL5 production through mechanisms that include a TLR2-dependent component that requires JNK and NF-κB activities.
doi:10.1128/CVI.00368-07
PMCID: PMC2238044  PMID: 17989335
24.  Anti-inflammatory effects of sargachromenol-rich ethanolic extract of Myagropsis myagroides on lipopolysaccharide-stimulated BV-2 cells 
Background
Excessive pro-inflammatory cytokine production from activated microglia contributes to neurodegenerative diseases, thus, microglial inactivation may delay the progress of neurodegeneration by attenuating the neuroinflammation. Among 5 selected brown algae, we found the highest antioxidant and anti-neuroinflammatory activities from Myagropsis myagroides ethanolic extract (MME) in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated BV-2 cells.
Methods
The levels of nitric oxide (NO), prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), and pro-inflammatory cytokines were measured by Griess assay and enzyme linked immunesorbent assay. The levels of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs), and Akt were measured using Western blot. Nuclear translocation and transcriptional activation of nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) were determined by immunefluorescence and reporter gene assay, respectively.
Results
MME inhibited the expression of iNOS and COX-2 at mRNA and protein levels, resulting in reduction of NO and PGE2 production. As a result, pro-inflammatory cytokines were reduced by MME. MME also inhibited the activation and translocation of NF-κB by preventing inhibitor κB-α (IκB-α) degradation. Moreover, MME inhibited the phosphorylation of extracellular signal regulated kinases (ERKs) and c-Jun N-terminal kinases (JNKs). Main anti-inflammatory compound in MME was identified as sargachromenol by NMR spectroscopy.
Conclusions
These results indicate that the anti-inflammatory effect of sargachromenol-rich MME on LPS-stimulated microglia is mainly regulated by the inhibition of IκB-α/NF-κB and ERK/JNK pathways.
doi:10.1186/1472-6882-14-231
PMCID: PMC4227293  PMID: 25005778
Myagropsis myagroides; Sargachromenol; Pro-inflammatory cytokine; Microglia; Nuclear factor-κB; Neuroinflammation
25.  Biomechanical Thresholds Regulate Inflammation through the NF-κB Pathway: Experiments and Modeling 
PLoS ONE  2009;4(4):e5262.
Background
During normal physical activities cartilage experiences dynamic compressive forces that are essential to maintain cartilage integrity. However, at non-physiologic levels these signals can induce inflammation and initiate cartilage destruction. Here, by examining the pro-inflammatory signaling networks, we developed a mathematical model to show the magnitude-dependent regulation of chondrocytic responses by compressive forces.
Methodology/Principal Findings
Chondrocytic cells grown in 3-D scaffolds were subjected to various magnitudes of dynamic compressive strain (DCS), and the regulation of pro-inflammatory gene expression via activation of nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) signaling cascade examined. Experimental evidences provide the existence of a threshold in the magnitude of DCS that regulates the mRNA expression of nitric oxide synthase (NOS2), an inducible pro-inflammatory enzyme. Interestingly, below this threshold, DCS inhibits the interleukin-1β (IL-1β)-induced pro-inflammatory gene expression, with the degree of suppression depending on the magnitude of DCS. This suppression of NOS2 by DCS correlates with the attenuation of the NF-κB signaling pathway as measured by IL-1β-induced phosphorylation of the inhibitor of kappa B (IκB)-α, degradation of IκB-α and IκB-β, and subsequent nuclear translocation of NF-κB p65. A mathematical model developed to understand the complex dynamics of the system predicts two thresholds in the magnitudes of DCS, one for the inhibition of IL-1β-induced expression of NOS2 by DCS at low magnitudes, and second for the DCS-induced expression of NOS2 at higher magnitudes.
Conclusions/Significance
Experimental and computational results indicate that biomechanical signals suppress and induce inflammation at critical thresholds through activation/suppression of the NF-κB signaling pathway. These thresholds arise due to the bistable behavior of the networks originating from the positive feedback loop between NF-κB and its target genes. These findings lay initial groundwork for the identification of the thresholds in physical activities that can differentiate its favorable actions from its unfavorable consequences on joints.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0005262
PMCID: PMC2667254  PMID: 19370157

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