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Clin Ter. 2001 Jul-Aug;152(4):249-53.

[Nf-kB transcription factor: role in the pathogenesis of inflammatory, autoimmune, and neoplastic diseases and therapy implications].

[Article in Italian]

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Sezione di Endocrinologia, Dipartimento di Medicina e Scienze dell'invecchiamento, Università degli Studi G. D'Annunzio, Chieti, Italia.



Description of the involvement of the transcription factor NF-kB in inflammatory, autoimmune and neoplastic processes. Clinical implications from basic research.


Review of the most significant data reported in the literature and personal publications.


NF-kB is an ubiquitous transcription factor member of the proto-oncogene family rel. NF-kB regulates the expression of several genes involved in inflammatory and immune responses. The classical activated form of NF-kB consists of the p50/p65 heterodimer, different dimers may be formed with members of rel, AP1, steroid hormones receptors family. Many studies suggest that NF-kB should be considered as an important mechanisms of inflammatory processes and autoimmune diseases. Many important anti-inflammatory drugs and immunosuppressants inhibit NF-kB. Several observations have suggested a role of the inappropriate activation of NF-kB in cell proliferation, transformation, and tumor development, mainly lymphomas. Conversely, it has been proposed that the activation of NF-kB in immune cells may contribute to anti-tumor immunity.


NF-kB is an optimal target of anti-inflammatory and immunosuppresant therapies. Molecular studies on NF-kB are very important to understand the pathogenesis of inflammatory, autoimmune and neoplastic diseases, and to identify new drugs that inhibit NF-kB activation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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