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J Biol Chem. 2000 Jun 30;275(26):19693-9.

Stimulation of NFkappa B activity by multiple signaling pathways requires PAK1.

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Departments of Pharmacology and Internal Medicine, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas 75235-9041, USA.


The p21-activated kinase (PAK1) is a serine-threonine protein kinase that is activated by binding to the Rho family small G proteins Rac and Cdc42hs. Both Rac and Cdc42hs have been shown to regulate the activity of the transcription factor NFkappaB. Here we show that expression of active Ras, Raf-1, or Rac1 in fibroblasts stimulates NFkappaB in a PAK1-dependent manner and that expression of active PAK1 can stimulate NFkappaB on its own. Similarly, in macrophages activation of NFkappaB as well as transcription from the tumor necrosis factor alpha promoter depends on PAK1. In these cells lipopolysaccharide is a potent activator of PAK1 kinase activity. We also demonstrate that expression of active PAK1 stimulates the nuclear translocation of the p65 subunit of NFkappaB but does not activate the inhibitor of kappaB kinases alpha or beta. These data demonstrate that PAK1 is a crucial signaling molecule involved in NFkappaB activation by multiple stimuli.

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