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J Immunol. 2007 Aug 1;179(3):1681-92.

Functional role for I kappa BNS in T cell cytokine regulation as revealed by targeted gene disruption.

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Laboratory of Immunobiology, Department of Medical Oncology, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


Triggering of the TCR by cognate peptide/MHC ligands induces expression of I kappa BNS, a member of the I kappa B family of NF-kappaB inhibitors whose expression is associated with apoptosis of immature thymocytes. To understand the role of I kappa BNS in TCR triggering, we created a targeted disruption of the I kappa BNS gene. Surprisingly, mice lacking I kappa BNS show normal thymic progression but both thymocytes and T cells manifest reduced TCR-stimulated proliferation. Moreover, I kappa BNS knockout thymocytes and T cells produce significantly less IL-2 and IFN-gamma than wild-type cells. Transfection analysis demonstrates that I kappa BNS and c-Rel individually increase IL-2 promoter activity. The effect of I kappa BNS on the IL-2 promoter, unlike c-Rel, is dependent on the NF-kappaB rather than the CD28RE site; mutation of the NF-kappaB site extinguishes the induction of transcription by I kappa BNS in transfectants and prevents association of I kappa BNS with IL-2 promoter DNA. Microarray analyses confirm the reduction in IL-2 production and some IFN-gamma-linked transcripts in I kappa BNS knockout T cells. Collectively, our findings demonstrate that I kappa BNS regulates production of IL-2 and other cytokines induced via "strong" TCR ligation.

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