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EMBO J. Aug 1, 1997; 16(15): 4698–4707.
PMCID: PMC1170096

I kappaB alpha-independent downregulation of NF-kappaB activity by glucocorticoid receptor.

Abstract

I kappaB alpha is an inhibitor protein that prevents nuclear transport-and activation of the transcription factor NF-kappaB. In acute inflammation, NF-kappaB is activated and increases the expression of several pro-inflammatory cytokine and chemokine genes. Glucocorticoids counteract this process. It has been proposed that the glucocorticoid-dependent inhibition of NF-kappaB activity is mediated by increased synthesis of I kappaB alpha which should then sequester NF-kappaB in an inactive cytoplasmic form. Here, we show by the use of a mutant glucocorticoid receptor and steroidal ligands that hormone-induced I kappaB alpha synthesis and inhibition of NF-kappaB activity are separable biochemical processes. A dimerization-defective glucocorticoid receptor mutant that does not enhance the I kappaB alpha level is still able to repress NF-kappaB activity. Conversely, glucocorticoid analogues competent in enhancing I kappaB alpha synthesis do not repress NF-kappaB activity. These results demonstrate that increased synthesis of I kappaB alpha is neither required nor sufficient for the hormone-mediated downmodulation of NF-kappaB activity.

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Selected References

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