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J Clin Invest. 2005 Oct;115(10):2625-32.

IKK/NF-kappaB signaling: balancing life and death--a new approach to cancer therapy.

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  • 1Laboratory of Gene Regulation and Signal Transduction, Department of Pharmacology and Cancer Center, School of Medicine, UCSD, La Jolla, California, USA.


IkappaB kinase/NF-kappaB (IKK/NF-kappaB) signaling pathways play critical roles in a variety of physiological and pathological processes. One function of NF-kappaB is promotion of cell survival through induction of target genes, whose products inhibit components of the apoptotic machinery in normal and cancerous cells. NF-kappaB can also prevent programmed necrosis by inducing genes encoding antioxidant proteins. Regardless of mechanism, many cancer cells, of either epithelial or hematopoietic origin, use NF-kappaB to achieve resistance to anticancer drugs, radiation, and death cytokines. Hence, inhibition of IKK-driven NF-kappaB activation offers a strategy for treatment of different malignancies and can convert inflammation-induced tumor growth to inflammation-induced tumor regression.

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