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J Inflamm (Lond). 2005 Oct 5;2:10.

Regulation of IkappaBalpha expression involves both NF-kappaB and the MAP kinase signaling pathways.

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  • 1Xenogen Corporation, Alameda, California 94501, USA.


IkappaBalpha is an inhibitor of the nuclear transcription factor NF-kappaB. Binding of IkappaBalpha to NF-kappaB inactivates the transcriptional activity of NF-kappaB. Expression of IkappaBalpha itself is regulated by NF-kappaB, which provides auto-regulation of this signaling pathway. Here we present a mouse model for monitoring in vivo IkappaBalpha expression by imaging IkappaBalpha-luc transgenic mice for IkappaBalpha promoter driven luciferase activity. We demonstrated a rapid and systemic induction of IkappaBalpha expression in the transgenic mice following treatment with LPS. The induction was high in liver, spleen, lung and intestine and lower in the kidney, heart and brain. The luciferase induction in the liver correlated with increased IkappaBalpha mRNA level. Pre-treatment with proteasome inhibitor bortezomib dramatically suppressed LPS-induced luciferase activity. The p38 kinase inhibitor SB203580 also showed moderate inhibition of LPS-induced luciferase activity. Analysis of IkappaBalpha mRNA in the liver tissue showed a surprising increase of the IkappaBalpha mRNA after bortezomib and SB203580 treatments, which could be due to increased IkappaBalpha mRNA stability. Our data demonstrate that regulation of IkappaBalpha expression involves both the NF-kappaB and the p38 signaling pathways. The IkappaBalpha-luc transgenic mice are useful for analyzing IkappaBalpha expression and the NF-kappaB transcriptional activity in vivo.

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