PMN-dominated airway inflammation is a major component of cystic fibrosis (CF) lung disease. Epithelial cells respond to organisms such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa, the major pathogen in CF, by expressing the leukocyte chemokine IL-8. Experiments were performed using several different types of respiratory epithelial cells that demonstrate that ligation of ceramide-associated receptors on epithelial surfaces by P. aeruginosa pili is a major stimulus for the translocation of transcription factor nuclear factor (NF)-kappaB and initiation of IL-8 expression by epithelial cells. Using electrophoretic mobility shift assays and Western hybridizations, nuclear NF-kappaB was found shortly after epithelial cells were stimulated by either whole organisms, isolated pili, or antibody to the pilin receptor asialoGM1. IB3 cells, which express mutations in cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) (DeltaF508/W1282X), were noted to have significantly greater amounts of endogenous nuclear NF-kappaB, but not the transcription factor C/EBP, than CF cells corrected by episomal copies of normal CFTR (C-38) or IB3 cells grown at a permissive temperature (25 degreesC). Activation of NF-kappaB and subsequent IL-8 expression in epithelial cells can result from activation of at least two pathways: an exogenous signaling cascade that is activated by ligation of ceramide-associated adhesins such as P. aeruginosa pilin, or endogenous stimulation, suggested to be a consequence of cell stress caused by the accumulation of mutant CFTR in the endoplasmic reticulum.
Hydrosalpinx are associated with infertility, due to reduced rates of implantation and increased abortion rates. The aims of this study were to investigate the expression of cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR), nuclear factor kappa B (NF KappaB) and mucin-1 (MUC-1), and analyze the correlation between the expression of CFTR and NF KappaB or MUC1, in the endometrium of infertile women with and without hydrosalpinx.
Thirty-one infertile women with laparoscopy-confirmed unilateral or bilateral hydrosalpinx and 20 infertile women without hydrosalpinx or pelvic inflammatory disease (control group) were recruited. Endometrial biopsy samples were collected and the expression of CFTR, NF KappaB and MUC1 were analyzed using immunohistochemistry and quantitative real-time PCR.
CFTR, NF KappaB and MUC1 mRNA and protein expression tended to increase in the secretory phase compared to the proliferative phase in both groups; however, these differences were not significantly different. The endometrium of infertile patients with hydrosalpinx had significantly higher NF KappaB mRNA and protein expression, and significantly lower CFTR and MUC1 mRNA and protein expression, compared to control infertile patients. A positive correlation was observed between CFTR and MUC1 mRNA expression (r = 0.65, P < 0.05); a negative correlation was observed between CFTR mRNA and NF KappaB mRNA expression (r = −0.59, P < 0.05).
Increased NF KappaB expression and decreased CFTR and MUC1 expression in the endometrium of infertile patients with hydrosalpinx reinforce the involvement of a molecular mechanism in the regulation of endometrial receptivity.
Cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator; Endometrium; Hydrosalpinx; Mucin-1; Nuclear factor kappa B
Rickettsia rickettsii, the etiologic agent of Rocky Mountain spotted fever, is an obligate intracellular bacterial organism that infects primarily the vascular endothelial cells (EC). A component of the EC response to infection is transcriptional activation, which may contribute to the thrombotic and inflammatory consequences of disease. In this study, we explore R. rickettsii-induced activation of the nuclear factor-kappaB/Rel (NF-kappaB) family of transcription factors involved in early transcriptional responses to injurious stimuli. Two NF-kappaB species were activated by infection and reacted with a double-stranded oligonucleotide probe corresponding to the kappaB binding domain of the murine kappa light-chain gene enhancer. Gel supershift analysis demonstrated the reactivity of these complexes with antibodies against p65 and p50, and the induced species were tentatively identified as p50-p50 homodimers and p50-p65 heterodimers. Semiquantitative reverse transcription-PCR analysis revealed dramatic increases in the steady-state levels of mRNA coding for the inhibitory subunit of NF-kappaB (IkappaB alpha), transcription of which is enhanced by the binding of NF-kappaB within the IkappaB alpha promoter region. NF-kappaB activation was first detected 1.5 h following infection and was biphasic, with an early peak of activation at approximately 3 h, a return to baseline levels at 14 h, and even higher levels of activation at 24 h. It is likely that NF-kappaB activation requires cellular uptake of R. rickettsii, since treatment of EC with cytochalasin B during infection to block entry inhibited activation by only 70% at 3 h. R. rickettsii-induced activation of NF-kappaB may be an important controlling factor in the transcriptional responses of EC to infection with this obligate intracellular organism.
The nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kappaB) family of transcription factors controls expression of a number of early response genes associated with inflammatory responses, cell growth, cell cycle progression, and neoplastic transformation. These genes include a multitude of cytokines, chemokines, adhesion molecules, immune receptors, stress proteins, apoptotic or anti-apoptotic regulators, and several oncogenes. Accumulating evidence indicates that a variety of toxic metals are able to affect the activation or activity of NF-kappaB, but the molecular mechanisms involved in this process remain largely unknown. The signaling pathways mediating cytokine- or microorganism-induced NF-kappaB activation have been well established recently. Whether the same signaling systems are involved in metal-induced NF-kappaB activation, however, is unclear. In the present review, we have attempted to evaluate and update the possible mechanisms of metal signals on the activation and function of NF-kappaB.
The I kappaB alpha protein is a key molecular target involved in the control of NF-kappaB/Rel transcription factors during viral infection or inflammatory reactions. This NF-kappaB-inhibitory factor is regulated by posttranslational phosphorylation and ubiquitination of its amino-terminal signal response domain that targets I kappaB alpha for rapid proteolysis by the 26S proteasome. In an attempt to identify regulators of the I kappaB alpha inhibitory activity, we undertook a yeast two-hybrid genetic screen, using the amino-terminal end of I kappaB alpha as bait, and identified 12 independent interacting clones. Sequence analysis identified some of these cDNA clones as Dlc-1, a sequence encoding a small, 9-kDa human homolog of the outer-arm dynein light-chain protein. In the two-hybrid assay, Dlc-1 also interacted with full-length I kappaB alpha protein but not with N-terminal-deletion-containing versions of I kappaB alpha. I kappaB alpha interacted in vitro with a glutathione S-transferase-Dlc-1 fusion protein, and RelA(p65) did not displace this association, demonstrating that p65 and Dlc-1 contact different protein motifs of I kappaB alpha. Importantly, in HeLa and 293 cells, endogenous and transfected I kappaB alpha coimmunoprecipitated with Myc-tagged or endogenous Dlc-1. Indirect immunofluorescence analyzed by confocal microscopy indicated that Dlc-1 and I kappaB alpha colocalized with both nuclear and cytoplasmic distribution. Furthermore, Dlc-1 and I kappaB alpha were found to associate with the microtubule organizing center, a perinuclear region from which microtubules radiate. Likewise, I kappaB alpha colocalized with alpha-tubulin filaments. Taken together, these results highlight an intriguing interaction between the I kappaB alpha protein and the human homolog of a member of the dynein family of motor proteins and provide a potential link between cytoskeleton dynamics and gene regulation.
Nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-kappaB)/Rel transcription factors play an important role in the inducible regulation of a variety of genes involved in the inflammatory and proliferative responses of cells. The present study was designed to elucidate the implication of NF-kappaB/Rel in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. Activation of the dimeric NF-kappaB complex is regulated at a posttranslational level and requires the release of the inhibitor protein IkappaB. The newly developed mAb alpha-p65mAb recognizes the IkappaB binding region on the p65 (RelA) DNA binding subunit and therefore selectively reacts with p65 in activated NF-kappaB. Using immunofluorescence and immunohistochemical techniques, activated NF-kappaB was detected in the fibrotic-thickened intima/media and atheromatous areas of the atherosclerotic lesion. Activation of NF-kappaB was identified in smooth muscle cells, macrophages, and endothelial cells. Little or no activated NF-kappaB was detected in vessels lacking atherosclerosis. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays and colocalization of activated NF-kappaB with NF-kappaB target gene expression suggest functional implications for this transcription factor in the atherosclerotic lesion. This study demonstrates the presence of activated NF-kappaB in human atherosclerotic tissue for the first time. Atherosclerosis, characterized by features of chronic inflammation and proliferative processes, may be a paradigm for the involvement of NF-kappaB/Rel in chronic inflammatory disease.
Transcription factors of the NF-kappaB/Rel family are critical for inducible expression of multiple genes involved in inflammatory responses. Sulfasalazine and its salicylate moiety 5-aminosalicylic acid are among the most effective agents for treating inflammatory bowel disease and rheumatoid arthritis. However, the mode of action of these drugs remains unclear. Here we provide evidence that the transcription factor NF-kappaB is a target of sulfasalazine-mediated immunosuppression. Treatment of SW620 colon cells with sulfasalazine inhibited TNFalpha-, LPS-, or phorbol ester- induced NF-kappaB activation. NF-kappaB-dependent transcription was inhibited by sulfasalazine at micro- to millimolar concentrations. In contrast, 5-aminosalicylic acid or sulfapyridine did not block NF-kappaB activation at all doses tested. TNFalpha-induced nuclear translocation of NF-kappaB was prevented by sulfasalazine through inhibition of IkappaBalpha degradation. When blocking proteasome-mediated degradation of IkappaBalpha, we could demonstrate that sulfasalazine interfered with IkappaBalpha phosphorylation, suggesting a direct effect on an IkappaBalpha kinase or on an upstream signal. Inhibition of NF-kappaB activation seems to be specific since other DNA-binding activities such as AP1 were not affected. These results demonstrate that sulfasalazine is a potent and specific inhibitor of NF-kappaB activation, and thus may explain some of the known biological properties of sulfasalazine.
A persistent recruitment of neutrophils in the bronchi of cystic fibrosis (CF) patients contributes to aggravate the airway tissue damage, suggesting the importance of modulating the expression of chemokines, including IL-8 during the management of the CF patients. Polyphenols rich extracts derived from waste water from olive mill, obtained by a molecular imprinting approach, have been investigated in order to discover compounds able to reduce IL-8 expression in human bronchial epithelial cells (IB3-1 cells), derived from a CF patient with a ΔF508/W1282X mutant genotype and stimulated with TNF-alpha. Initially, electrophoretic mobility shift assays (EMSAs) were performed to determine whether the different active principles were able to inhibit the binding between transcription factor (TF) NF-kappaB and DNA consensus sequences. Among different representative active principles present in the extract, three compounds were selected, apigenin, oleuropein, and cyanidin chloride, which displayed remarkable activity in inhibiting NF-kappaB/DNA complexes. Utilizing TNF-alpha-treated IB3-1 cells as experimental model system, we demonstrated that apigenin and cyanidin chloride are able to modulate the expression of the NF-kappaB-regulated IL-8 gene, while oleuropein showed no effect in regulating the expression of the gene IL-8.
The transcription factor NF-kappaB is a very interesting target molecule for the design on anti-tumor, anti-inflammatory and pro-apoptotic drugs. However, the application of the widely-used molecular docking computational method for the virtual screening of chemical libraries on NF-kappaB is not yet reported in literature. Docking studies on a dataset of 27 molecules from extracts of two different medicinal plants to NF-kappaB-p50 were performed with the purpose of developing a docking protocol fit for the target under study.
We enhanced the simple docking procedure by means of a sort of combined target- and ligand-based drug design approach. Advantages of this combination strategy, based on a similarity parameter for the identification of weak binding chemical entities, are illustrated in this work with the discovery of a new lead compound for NF-kappaB. Further biochemical analyses based on EMSA were performed and biological effects were tested on the compound exhibiting the best docking score. All experimental analysis were in fairly good agreement with molecular modeling findings.
The results obtained sustain the concept that the docking performance is predictive of a biochemical activity. In this respect, this paper represents the first example of successfully individuation through molecular docking simulations of a promising lead compound for the inhibition of NF-kappaB-p50 biological activity and modulation of the expression of the NF-kB regulated IL8 gene.
AIMS: Glucocorticoids (GCs) exert some of their anti-inflammatory actions by preventing the activation of the transcription factor nuclear factor (NF)-kappaB. The GC-dependent inhibition of NF-kappaB may occur at different levels, but the mechanisms involved are still incompletely understood. In this work, we investigated whether the synthetic GC, dexamethasone (Dex), modulates the activity of NF-kappaB in the lymphoblastic CCRF-CEM cell line. We also evaluated the ability of Dex to prevent the activation of NF-kappaB in response to the potent proinflammatory cytokine, interleukin (IL)-1beta. RESULTS: Exposure of the cells to Dex (1 microM) induced the rapid degradation of IkappaB-alpha, leading to the transient translocation of the NF-kappaB family members p65 and p50 from the cytoplasm to the nucleus, as evaluated by western blot. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays revealed that, in the nucleus, these NF-kappaB proteins formed protein-DNA complexes, indicating a transient activation of NF-kappaB. Additionally, Dex also induced de novo synthesis of IkappaB-alpha, following its degradation. Finally, when the cells were exposed to Dex (1 microM) prior to stimulation with IL-1beta (20 ng/ml), Dex was efficient in preventing IL-1beta-induced NF-kappaB activation. The GC antagonist, RU 486 (10 microM), did not prevent any of the effects of Dex reported here. CONCLUSION: Our results indicate that, in CCRF-CEM cells, Dex prevents NF-kappaB activation, induced by IL-1beta, by a mechanism that involves the upregulation of IkappaB-alpha synthesis, and that depends on the early and transient activation of NF-kappaB.
Dithiocarbamates (DTCs) have recently been reported as powerful inhibitors of NF-kappaB activation in a number of cell types. Given the role of this transcription factor in the regulation of gene expression in the inflammatory response, NF-kappaB inhibitors have been suggested as potential therapeutic drugs for inflammatory diseases. We show here that DTCs inhibited both interleukin 2 (IL-2) synthesis and membrane expression of antigens which are induced during T-cell activation. This inhibition, which occurred with a parallel activation of c-Jun transactivating functions and expression, was reflected by transfection experiments at the IL-2 promoter level, and involved not only the inhibition of NF-kappaB-driven reporter activation but also that of nuclear factor of activated T cells (NFAT). Accordingly, electrophoretic mobility shift assays (EMSAs) indicated that pyrrolidine DTC (PDTC) prevented NF-kappaB, and NFAT DNA-binding activity in T cells stimulated with either phorbol myristate acetate plus ionophore or antibodies against the CD3-T-cell receptor complex and simultaneously activated the binding of AP-1. Furthermore, PDTC differentially targeted both NFATp and NFATc family members, inhibiting the transactivation functions of NFATp and mRNA induction of NFATc. Strikingly, Western blotting and immunocytochemical experiments indicated that PDTC promoted a transient and rapid shuttling of NFATp and NFATc, leading to their accelerated export from the nucleus of activated T cells. We propose that the activation of an NFAT kinase by PDTC could be responsible for the rapid shuttling of the NFAT, therefore transiently converting the sustained transactivation of this transcription factor that occurs during lymphocyte activation, and show that c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase (JNK) can act by directly phosphorylating NFATp. In addition, the combined inhibitory effects on NFAT and NF-KB support a potential use of DTCs as immunosuppressants.
BACKGROUND: The variable efficacy of bacillus Calmette-Guérin (Mycobacterium bovis BCG) in protecting humans against tuberculosis has prompted a search for the mechanisms through which BCG induces chemokines. In this study, our experiments were designed to determine the role of the transcription factor nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB) and intracellular calcium in the production of interleukin (IL)-8, a main chemotactic factor, by human-derived monocytic cell line U937 and by a human epithelial HEp-2 cell line infected with M. bovis BCG. METHODS: The concentrations of IL-8 in culture supernatants of U937 cells or HEp-2 cells infected with M. bovis BCG were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. We used sulfasalazine and curcumin, which are well-described inhibitors of NF-kappaB activity, and we used ethylenediamine tetraacetic acid to deplete extracellular Ca2+ or used the cell-permeable agent 1,2-bis (2-aminophenoxy) ethane-N,N,N',N'-tetraacetic acid tetra (acetoxymethyl) ester to chelate releasable intracellular stores of Ca2+ in order to investigate the mechanisms through which M. bovis BCG induces IL-8 secretion in our system. RESULTS: The enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay showed that IL-8 protein secretion was elevated in M. bovis-infected cell lines. This effect was statistically significant (p < 0.01). When calcium influx was suppressed in M. bovis-infected cell lines, IL-8 secretion was inhibited. Notably, specific inhibitors of NF-kappaB (sulfasalazine and curcumin) inhibited M. bovis-induced IL-8 secretion from U937 cells or HEp-2 cells. CONCLUSIONS: Collectively, these results indicate that activation of NF-kappaB is an important signal transduction pathway in M. bovis-induced IL-8 secretion in monocytic or epithelial cells. Furthermore, the results showed that calcium influx had a direct effect on IL-8 secretion in U937 cells or HEp-2 cells infected with M. bovis.
The stress response and stress proteins confer protection against diverse forms of cellular and tissue injury, including acute lung injury. The stress response can inhibit nonstress protein gene expression, therefore transcriptional inhibition of proinflammatory responses could be a mechanism of protection against acute lung injury. To explore this possibility, we determined the effects of the stress response on nuclear translocation of the transcription factor NF-kappaB, an important regulator of proinflammatory gene expression. In A549 cells induction of the stress response decreased tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha)-mediated NF-kappaB nuclear translocation. TNF-alpha initiates NF-kappaB nuclear translocation by causing dissociation of the inhibitory protein I-kappaBalpha from NF-kappaB and rapid degradation of I-kappaBalpha. Prior induction of the stress response inhibited TNF-alpha-mediated dissociation of I-kappaBalpha from NF-kappaB and subsequent degradation of I-kappaBalpha. Induction of the stress response also increased expression of I-kappaBalpha. We conclude that the stress response affects NFkappaB-mediated gene regulation by two independent mechanisms. The stress response stabilizes I-kappaBalpha and induces expression of I-kappaBalpha. The composite result of these two effects is to decrease NF-kappaB nuclear translocation. We speculate that the protective effect of the stress response against acute lung injury involves a similar effect on the I-kappaB/NF-kappaB pathway.
Expression of nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB)/Rel transcription factors has recently been found to promote cell survival, inhibiting the induction of apoptosis. In most cells other than B lymphocytes, NF-kappaB/Rel is inactive, sequestered in the cytoplasm. For example, nuclear extracts from two human untransformed breast epithelial cell lines expressed only very low levels of NF-kappaB. Unexpectedly, nuclear extracts from two human breast tumor cell lines displayed significant levels of NF-kappaB/Rel. Direct inhibition of this NF-kappaB/ Rel activity in breast cancer cells induced apoptosis. High levels of NF-kappaB/Rel binding were also observed in carcinogen-induced primary rat mammary tumors, whereas only expectedly low levels were seen in normal rat mammary glands. Furthermore, multiple human breast cancer specimens contained significant levels of nuclear NF-kappaB/Rel subunits. Thus, aberrant nuclear expression of NF-kappaB/Rel is associated with breast cancer. Given the role of NF-kappaB/Rel factors in cell survival, this aberrant activity may play a role in tumor progression, and represents a possible therapeutic target in the treatment of these tumors.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory disease characterized by persistent joint swelling and progressive destruction of cartilage and bone. Current RA treatments are largely empirical in origin and their precise mechanism of action is uncertain. Increasing evidence shows that chronic inflammatory diseases such as RA are caused by prolonged production of proinflammatory cytokines including tumor necrosis factor (TNF) and interleukin 1 (IL-1). The nuclear factor kappaB (NF-kappaB) plays an essential role in transcriptional activation of TNF and IL-1. NF-kappaB is induced by many stimuli including TNF and IL-1, forming a positive regulatory cycle that may amplify and maintain RA disease process. NF-kappaB and enzymes involved in its activation can be a target for anti-inflammatory treatment. Aspirin and sodium salicylate inhibit activation of NF-KB by blocking IkappaB kinase, a key enzyme in NF-kappaB activation. Glucocorticoids suppress expression of inflammatory genes by binding glucocorticoid receptor with NF-kappaB, and increasing expression of inhibitory protein of NF-kappaB, IkappaBalpha. Sulfasalazine and gold compounds also inhibit NF-kappaB activation. Continuing advances in our understanding of action mechanism of antirheumatic agents will benefit the future development of RA regimens with greater efficacy and less toxicity.
The NF-kappaB signaling pathway is a necessary component of adult skeletal muscle atrophy due to systemic illnesses or disuse. Studies showing a role for the NF-kappaB pathway in muscle disuse focus on unloading, denervation, or immobilization, and studies showing a role for NF-kappaB in systemic illnesses include cancer, chronic heart failure, and acute septic lung injury. Muscle atrophy due to most of these triggers is associated with activation of NF-kappaB transcriptional activity. With the exception of muscle unloading however, there is a paucity of data on the NF-kappaB transcription factors that regulate muscle atrophy and there little known about which genes are targeted by NF-kappaB transcription factors during atrophy. Interestingly, in some cases it appears that the amelioration of muscle atrophy by genetic inhibition of NF-kappaB signaling proteins is due to effects that are independent of the downstream NF-kappaB transcription factors. These questions are prime areas for investigation if we are to understand a key component of muscle wasting in adult skeletal muscle.
The Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-encoded LMP1 protein induces several cellular changes including induction of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) expression and activation of the NF-kappaB transcription factor. Two domains within the carboxy terminus have been identified that activate NF-kappaB. In this study, mutational analysis of the LMP1 protein indicated that the proximal NF-kappaB activation domain, which is identical to the TRAF interaction domain (amino acids 187 to 231), is essential for induction of the EGFR. The distal NF-kappaB activation domain (amino acids 352 to 386) did not induce expression of the EGFR. In contrast, the two domains both independently activated a kappaB-CAT reporter gene and induced expression of the NF-kappaB-regulated A20 gene in C33A epithelial cells. These results indicate that induction of the EGFR by LMP1 involves the TRAF interaction domain and that activation of NF-kappaB alone is not sufficient. Northern blot analysis revealed that induction of EGFR and A20 expression is likely to be at the transcriptional level. Interestingly expression of CD40 in the C33A cells also induced expression of the EGFR. Overexpression of either TRAF3 or an amino-terminal-truncated form of TRAF3 (TRAF3-C) inhibited signaling from the LMP1 TRAF interaction domain but did not affect signaling from the distal NF-kappaB activation domain. These data further define the mechanism by which LMP1 induces expression of the EGFR and indicate that TRAF signaling from LMP1 and CD40 activates a downstream transcription pathway distinct from NF-kappaB that induces expression of the EGFR.
Nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kappaB), a pleiotropic transcriptional factor that promotes cell survival and protects cells from apoptosis, requires reduced thiols at critical steps in its activation pathway. Mercuric ion (Hg(2+)), one of the strongest thiol-binding agents known, impairs NF-kappaB activation and transcriptional activity in normal rat kidney epithelial (NRK52E) cells at concentrations as low as 0.5 microM by binding to specific reduced thiol moieties in the NF-kappaB activation pathway. We hypothesized that prevention of NF-kappaB activation by Hg(2+) will increase the sensitivity of kidney cells to the apoptosis-inducing effects of other toxicants to which these cells are otherwise resistant by virtue of their NF-kappaB-activating capacity. Fewer than 5% of untreated kidney cells in culture (70-90% confluent) were found to be apoptotic when evaluated by DNA fragmentation (terminal deoxynucleotide transferase-mediated dUTP nick-end labeling) or flow cytometric DNA profile analyses. Hg(2+) (5 microM) treatment for 24 hr increased this proportion by 1.5- to 2-fold. Neither lipopolysaccharide (LPS) (1 microg/mL) nor tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha; 300 U/mL), both potent activators of NF-kappaB in kidney cells, significantly altered the proportion of apoptotic cells, compared with untreated controls, when applied without Hg(2+) pretreatment. However, when LPS or TNF-alpha was administered after Hg(2+) pretreatment (5 microM for 30 min), the proportion of cells undergoing apoptosis 22 hr later increased by 4- to 6-fold compared with untreated controls. In contrast, Hg(2+) pretreatment did not increase the amount of apoptosis caused by apoptosis-inducing agents that do not activate NF-kappaB (staurosporine, Fas ligand). These findings suggest that Hg(2+) enhances the sensitivity of kidney cells to apoptotic stimuli as a consequence of inhibition of NF-kappaB activity. Because apoptosis is known to play a key role in the pathogenesis of renal failure resulting from toxicant injury to proximal tubular cells, promotion of apoptosis via inhibition of NF-kappaB activity may define a novel molecular mechanism by which Hg(2+) toxicity is initiated in kidney cells.
The ubiquitous transcription factor NF-kappaB is an essential component in signal transduction pathways, in inflammation, and in the immune response. NF-kappaB is maintained in an inactive state in the cytoplasm by protein-protein interaction with IkappaBalpha. Upon stimulation, rapid degradation of IkappaBalpha allows nuclear translocation of NF-kappaB. To study the importance of IkappaBalpha in signal transduction, IkappaBalpha-deficient mice were derived by gene targeting. Cultured fibroblasts derived from IkappaBalpha-deficient embryos exhibit levels of NF-kappaB1, NF-kappaB2, RelA, c-Rel, and IkappaBbeta similar to those of wild-type fibroblasts. A failure to increase nuclear levels of NF-kappaB indicates that cytoplasmic retention of NF-kappaB may be compensated for by other IkappaB proteins. Treatment of wild-type cells with tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) resulted in rapid, transient nuclear localization of NF-kappaB. IkappaBalpha-deficient fibroblasts are also TNF-alpha responsive, but nuclear localization of NF-kappaB is prolonged, thus demonstrating that a major irreplaceable function Of IkappaBalpha is termination of the NF-kappaB response. Consistent with these observations, and with IkappaBalpha and NF-kappaB's role in regulating inflammatory and immune responses, is the normal development Of IkappaBalpha-deficient mice. However, growth ceases 3 days after birth and death usually occurs at 7 to 10 days of age. An increased percentage of monocytes/macrophages was detected in spleen cells taken from 5-, 7-, and 9-day-old pups. Death is accompanied by severe widespread dermatitis and increased levels of TNF-alpha mRNA in the skin.
Tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) and gamma interferon (IFN-gamma) are required for an effective immune response to bacterial infection and these cytokines synergize in a variety of biological responses, including the induction of cytokine, cell adhesion, and inducible nitrous oxide synthase gene expression. Typically, the synergistic effect on gene expression is due to the independent activation of nuclear factor kappaB (NF-kappaB) by TNF-alpha and of signal transducers and activators of transcription or IFN-regulatory factor 1 by IFNs, allowing these transcription factors to bind their unique promoter sites. However, since activation of NF-kappaB by TNF-alpha is often transient and would not activate long-term kappaB-dependent transcription effectively, we explored the effects of IFN-gamma on TNF-alpha-induced NF-kappaB activity. IFN-gamma, which typically does not activate NF-kappaB, synergistically enhanced TNF-alpha-induced NF-kappaB nuclear translocation via a mechanism that involves the induced degradation of I kappaBbeta and that apparently requires tyrosine kinase activity in preneuronal cells but not in endothelial cells. Correspondingly, cotreatment of cells with TNF-alpha and IFN-gamma leads to persistent activation of NF-kappaB and to potent activation of kappaB-dependent gene expression, which may explain, at least in part, the synergy observed between these cytokines, as well as their involvement in the generation of an effective immune response.
Among the many target genes of the transcription factor NF-kappaB are p53 and c-myc, both of which are involved in apoptosis. This prompted us to investigate the role of NF-kappaB in this process. We report that NF-kappaB is potently activated upon serum starvation, a condition leading to apoptosis in 293 cells. Similar to Bcl-2, a transdominant- negative mutant of the NF-kappaB p65 subunit partially inhibited apoptosis, indicating a direct involvement of the transcription factor in induction of cell death. As expected, the p65 mutant suppresses kappaB-dependent gene expression. Surprisingly, transiently or stably overexpressed Bcl-2 had the same effect. The transcription inhibitory activity of the two proteins correlated with their cell death protective potential. Like Bcl-2, the related protein Bcl-xL but not Bcl-xS was able to suppress kB-dependent transcription. Bcl-2 inhibited NF-kappaB activity by an unusual mechanism. It did not prevent the release of IkappaB in the cytoplasm but down-modulated the transactivating potential of nuclear p65. These data show that NF- kappaB can participate in apoptosis. We suggest that at least part of the anti-apoptotic potential of Bcl-2 may be explained from a hitherto undiscovered activity of Bcl-2 in controlling nuclear gene expression.
The biological activity of the transcription factor NF-kappaB is controlled mainly by the IkappaB alpha and IkappaB beta proteins, which restrict NF-kappaB to the cytoplasm and inhibit its DNA binding activity. Here, we carried out experiments to determine and compare the mechanisms by which IkappaB alpha and IkappaB beta inhibit NF-kappaB-dependent transcriptional activation. First, we found that in vivo IkappaB alpha is a stronger inhibitor of NF-kappaB than is IkappaB beta. This difference is directly correlated with their abilities to inhibit NF-kappaB binding to DNA in vitro and in vivo. Moreover, IkappaB alpha, but not IkappaB beta, can remove NF-kappaB from functional preinitiation complexes in in vitro transcription experiments. Second, we showed that both IkappaBs function in vivo not only in the cytoplasm but also in the nucleus, where they inhibit NF-kappaB binding to DNA. Third, the inhibitory activity of IkappaB beta, but not that of IkappaB alpha, is facilitated by phosphorylation of the C-terminal PEST sequence by casein kinase II and/or by the interaction of NF-kappaB with high-mobility group protein I (HMG I) on selected promoters. The unphosphorylated form of IkappaB beta forms stable ternary complexes with NF-kappaB on the DNA either in vitro or in vivo. These experiments suggest that IkappaB alpha works as a postinduction repressor of NF-kappaB independently of HMG I, whereas IkappaB beta functions preferentially in promoters regulated by the NF-kappaB/HMG I complexes.
The activation and latency of human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1) is tightly controlled by the transcriptional activity of its long terminal repeat region (LTR). The LTR is regulated by viral proteins as well as host factors, including the nuclear factor kappaB (NF-kappaB) that becomes activated in virus-infected cells. The two tandem NF-kappaB sites of the LTR are among the most highly conserved sequence elements of the HIV-1 genome. Puzzlingly, these sites are arranged in manner that seems to preclude simultaneous binding of both sites by NF-kappaB although previous biochemical work suggests otherwise. Here we have determined the crystal structure of p50:RelA bound to the tandem kappaB element of the HIV-1 LTR as a dimeric dimer, providing direct structural evidence that NF-kappB can occupy both sites simultaneously. The two p50:RelA dimers bind the adjacent kappaB sites and interact through a protein contact that is accommodated by DNA bending. The two dimers clamp DNA from opposite faces of the double helix and form a topological trap of the bound DNA. Consistent with these structural features, our biochemical analyses indicate that p50:RelA binds the HIV-1 LTR tandem kappaB sites with an apparent anti-cooperativity but enhanced kinetic stability. The slow on and off rates we observe may be relevant to viral latency because viral activation requires sustained NF-kappaB activation. Furthermore, our work demonstrates that the specific arrangement of the two kappaB sites on the HIV-1 LTR can modulate the assembly kinetics of the higher-order NF-kappaB complex on the viral promoter. This phenomenon is unlikely restricted to the HIV-1 LTR but probably represents a general mechanism for the function of composite DNA elements in transcription.
It has been suggested that the NF-kappaB transcription factor family may mediate expression of the gene encoding the cytokine-inducible form of nitric oxide synthase (iNOS). To establish if nitric oxide (NO) could in turn affect activity of NF-kappaB, the ability of NO-donor compounds to influence NF-kappaB DNA binding activity in vitro was investigated. NO-donor compounds sodium nitroprusside (SNP) and S-nitroso-N-acetylpenicillamine (SNAP) both inhibited the DNA binding activity of recombinant NF-kappaB p50 and p65 homodimers and of p50-p65 heterodimers. Inhibition of NF-kappaB p50 DNA binding by NO-donor compounds involved modification of the conserved redox-sensitive C62 residue, as a C62S p50 mutant was significantly more resistant to SNP-mediated inactivation. Non-reducing SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis demonstrated that SNP could inhibit p50 DNA binding by mechanisms other than the formation of intersubunit disulphide bonds involving p50 residue C62. Electrospray ionization mass spectrometry of a synthetic NF-kappaB p5O peptide containing the C62 residue suggested that NO gas can modify C62 by S-nitrosylation. This study indicates that NO-donors can directly inhibit the DNA binding activity of NF-kappaB family proteins, suggesting that cellular NO provides another control mechanism for modulating the expression of NF-kappaB-responsive genes.
T lymphocytes from patients with renal cell carcinoma (RCC) show reduced immune function and impaired activation of the transcription factor, NF-kappaB. We determined the mechanism of NF-kappaB suppression in T cells of RCC patient and determined whether supernatant fluid from RCC explants (RCC-S) induced the same phenotype of NF-kappaB suppression in normal T cells that is observed in patient T cells. The pattern of kappaB-binding activity in T cells of RCC patient was altered as compared to that seen in T cells obtained from normal volunteers. In some patients, no activation of RelA/NFkappaB1-binding activity was detectable, while in others kappaB-binding activity was modestly induced but the duration was reduced. IkappaBalpha was degraded normally following stimulation in both normal controls and T cells from RCC patients. RCC-S did not alter the cytoplasmic levels of RelA and NF-kappaB1 but did suppress their nuclear localization and inhibited the activation of RelA/NF-kappaB1 binding complexes. These results show that RCC-S can induce in normal T cells the same phenotype of impaired NF-kappaB activation that is detected in T cells of RCC patient. It also appears that NF-kappaB suppression by RCC-S may contribute to the immunosuppression of host immunity.