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Biochem Pharmacol. 2002 Sep;64(5-6):883-8.

Nuclear factor-kappa B and cancer: its role in prevention and therapy.

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Cytokine Research Section, Department of Bioimmunotherapy, M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, University of Texas, Box 143, 1515 Holcomb Boulevard, Houston, TX 77030, USA.


Cancer is a hyperproliferative disorder in which invasion and angiogenesis lead to tumor metastasis. Several genes that mediate tumorigenesis and metastasis are regulated by a nuclear transcription factor, nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kappaB). A heterotrimeric complex consisting of p50, p65, and IkappaBalpha, NF-kappaB is present in its inactive state in the cytoplasm. When NF-kappaB is activated, IkappaBalpha is degraded and p50-p65 heterodimer is translocated to the nucleus, binds the DNA (at the promoter region), and activates gene. Research within the last few years has revealed that NF-kappaB is activated by carcinogens, tumor promoters, inflammatory cytokines, and by chemotherapeutic agents. The activation of NF-kappaB can suppress apoptosis, thus promoting chemoresistance and tumorigenesis. Interestingly, however, most chemopreventive agents appear to suppress the activation of the NF-kappaB through inhibition of NF-kappaB signaling pathway. These chemopreventive agents also sensitize the tumors to chemotherapeutic agents through abrogation of NF-kappaB activation. Overall, these observations suggest that NF-kappaB is an ideal target for chemoprevention and chemosensitization. This article reviews evidence supporting this hypothesis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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