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Nat Rev Immunol. 2005 Jun;5(6):435-45.

Control of lymphocyte development by nuclear factor-kappaB.

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Immune Activation Section, Laboratory of Immune Regulation, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892-1876, USA.


The evolutionarily conserved nuclear factor-kappaB family of transcription factors is known to have a crucial role in rapid responses to stress and pathogens, inducing transcription of many genes that are essential for host defence. Now, studies of mice that are deficient in nuclear factor-kappaB-family members (or deficient in the activation of these factors) reveal that nuclear factor-kappaB is extensively involved in the development of T cells and B cells. And, as we review here, although these factors have several roles, their primary cell-autonomous function is to ensure lymphocyte survival at various developmental stages. This function is subverted in numerous diseases and can lead, for example, to survival of self-reactive lymphocytes or tumour cells.

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