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Biochem Pharmacol. 2004 Sep 15;68(6):1071-80.

Nuclear factor-kappaB: a friend or a foe in cancer?

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Cytokine Research Section, Department of Bioimmunotherapy, Unit 143, The University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Boulevard, Houston 77030, USA.


Nuclear transcription factor NF-kappaB, initially discovered as a factor in the nucleus of B cells that binds to the enhancer of the kappa light chain of immunoglobulin, has since been shown to be expressed ubiquitously in the cytoplasm of all cell types, conserved from Drosophila to man. It translocates to the nucleus only when activated, where it regulates the expression of over 200 genes that control the immune system, growth, and inflammation. The dysregulation of NF-kappaB can mediate a wide variety of diseases including cancer. Whether NF-kappaB activation is beneficial or harmful for cancer is controversial. The development of novel therapeutics targeting NF-kappaB requires full understanding of its role in pathology and physiology. The current review is an attempt to describe two sides of the NF-kappaB coin; viz, as a friend and as a foe.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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