Standard Article

Transcription Factor NF-κ B: Function, Structure, Regulation, Pathways, and Applications

Cell Biology

  1. Raymond Cheong,
  2. Andre Levchenko

Published Online: 15 SEP 2006

DOI: 10.1002/3527600906.mcb.200500006

Reviews in Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine

Reviews in Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine

How to Cite

Cheong, R. and Levchenko, A. 2006. Transcription Factor NF-κ B: Function, Structure, Regulation, Pathways, and Applications. Reviews in Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine. .

Author Information

  1. Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 SEP 2006

Abstract

NF-κB is a transcription factor found in most cells that plays a central role in the inflammatory, immunologic, apoptotic, and stress responses. NF-κB is a dimer composed of members of the Rel family of transcription factor subunits. It is normally sequestered in the cytoplasm by its inhibitor, IκB. Nearly all NF-κB-activating stimuli activate the IκB kinase, which phosphorylates IκB and thereby targets it for degradation. Newly freed NF-κB then enters the nucleus and mediates its various effects by activating its target genes. NF-κB activity is modulated by numerous mechanisms, including combinatorial specificity of its subunits and inhibitors, several forms of posttranslation modifications, and differences in signal transduction. NF-κB is of great therapeutic interest and we highlight its role in cancer and review modern drugs used to inhibit it. Finally, we discuss the role of NF-κB in learning, a hint that NF-κB has functions beyond those traditionally associated with it.

Keywords:

  • Apoptosis;
  • Canonical Pathway;
  • IκB;
  • IKK;
  • NF-κB;
  • Rel