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Biol Pharm Bull. 2003 Jul;26(7):931-5.

Activation signal of nuclear factor-kappa B in response to endoplasmic reticulum stress is transduced via IRE1 and tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated factor 2.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan.


Conditions that perturb the function of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) lead to an accumulation of proteins and subsequent induction of several responses, such as an increased expression of ER-resident chaperones involved in protein folding and activation of c-jun N-terminal kinase (JNK). These responses are mediated by a transmembrane kinase/ribonuclease, IRE1, which transduces the signal from the ER lumen to the cytosol. Although nuclear transcription factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB) is also activated by ER stress, whether this response depends on IRE1 is unknown. In this study, we show that IRE1 is involved in the activation of NF-kappaB induced by ER stress. NF-kappaB was activated by ER stress-inducing agents, thapsigargin and tunicamycin. The activation was inhibited by a dominant-negative IRE1. In addition, a dominant-negative TRAF2 also suppressed the activation of NF-kappaB by ER stress. These results suggest that ER stress-induced NF-kappaB activation is also mediated by the IRE1-TRAF2 pathway, as well as JNK activation.

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