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Nat Methods. 2005 Aug;2(8):607-14.

Real-time imaging of ligand-induced IKK activation in intact cells and in living mice.

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Molecular Imaging Center, Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology, Washington University School of Medicine, 510 S. Kingshighway Blvd., Box 8225, St. Louis, Missouri 63110, USA.


The transcription factor NF-kappaB is a key regulator of cellular activation, proliferation and apoptosis. Defects in the NF-kappaB pathway contribute to a broad array of malignant, neurodegenerative and chronic inflammatory diseases. IKK-dependent IkappaB alpha degradation by the 26S proteasome is a critical NF-kappaB regulatory control point, which is emerging as an important target for drug development. To directly monitor regulation of IKK activation in intact organisms, we engineered an IkappaB alpha-firefly luciferase (IkappaB alpha-FLuc) fusion reporter. In cultured cells and living animals, the reporter provided a continuous, noninvasive readout of the kinetics of ligand-induced IKK activation and the pharmacodynamics of selective inhibitors of both IKK and the 26S proteasome. This IkappaB alpha-FLuc reporter now permits continuous readout of IKK activation in vivo, facilitates development and validation of target-specific therapeutics, and complements conventional NF-kappaB transcriptional reporters for more complete temporal and regional investigations of the NF-kappaB signaling pathway in health and disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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