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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009 Mar 3;106(9):3431-6. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0813210106. Epub 2009 Feb 6.

Loss of p53 enhances catalytic activity of IKKbeta through O-linked beta-N-acetyl glucosamine modification.

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Department of Molecular Oncology, Institute of Gerontology, Nippon Medical School, Kawasaki, Kanagawa 211-8533, Japan.


The IkappaB kinase (IKK)-NF-kappaB pathway plays a critical role in oncogenesis. Recently, we have shown that p53 regulates glucose metabolism through the IKK-NF-kappaB pathway and that, in the absence of p53, the positive feedback loop between IKK-NF-kappaB and glycolysis has an integral role in oncogene-induced cell transformation. Here, we demonstrate that IKKbeta, a component of the IKK complex, was constitutively modified with O-linked beta-N-acetyl glucosamine (O-GlcNAc) in both p53-deficient mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) and transformed human fibroblasts. In p53-deficient cells, the O-GlcNAcylated IKKbeta and the activating phosphorylation of IKK were decreased by p65/NF-kappaB knockdown or glucose depletion. We also found that high glucose induced the O-GlcNAcylation of IKKbeta and sustained the TNFalpha-dependent IKKbeta activity. Moreover, the O-GlcNAcase inhibitor streptozotocin intensified O-GlcNAcylation and concomitant activating phosphorylation of IKKbeta. Mutational analysis revealed that O-GlcNAcylation of IKKbeta occurred at Ser 733 in the C-terminal domain, which was identified as an inactivating phosphorylation site, suggesting that IKKbeta O-GlcNAcylation regulates its catalytic activity. Taken together, we propose a novel mechanism for the enhancement of NF-kappaB activity by loss of p53, which evokes positive feedback regulation from enhanced glucose metabolism to IKK in oncogenesis.

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