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Mol Cell. 2003 Dec;12(6):1413-26.

Regulation of NF-kappaB signaling by Pin1-dependent prolyl isomerization and ubiquitin-mediated proteolysis of p65/RelA.

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  • 1Cancer Biology Program, Division of Hematology/Oncology, Department of Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, 330 Brookline Avenue, HIM 1047, Boston, MA 02215, USA.


The transcription factor NF-kappaB is activated by the degradation of its inhibitor IkappaBalpha, resulting in its nuclear translocation. However, the mechanism by which nuclear NF-kappaB is subsequently regulated is not clear. Here we demonstrate that NF-kappaB function is regulated by Pin1-mediated prolyl isomerization and ubiquitin-mediated proteolysis of its p65/RelA subunit. Upon cytokine treatment, Pin1 binds to the pThr254-Pro motif in p65 and inhibits p65 binding to IkappaBalpha, resulting in increased nuclear accumulation and protein stability of p65 and enhanced NF-kappaB activity. Significantly, Pin1-deficient mice and cells are refractory to NF-kappaB activation by cytokine signals. Moreover, the stability of p65 is controlled by ubiquitin-mediated proteolysis, facilitated by a cytokine signal inhibitor, SOCS-1, acting as a ubiquitin ligase. These findings uncover two important mechanisms of regulating NF-kappaB signaling and offer new insight into the pathogenesis and treatment of some human diseases such as cancers.

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