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J Pathol. 2011 Feb;223(3):436-45. doi: 10.1002/path.2815. Epub 2010 Nov 23.

IKBKE is over-expressed in glioma and contributes to resistance of glioma cells to apoptosis via activating NF-κB.

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Key Laboratory of Tropical Disease Control, Sun Yat-sen University, Ministry of Education, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510080, People's Republic of China.


IκB kinase-ε (IKBKE), a member of the IκB kinase (IKK) family, has been identified as an oncogenic protein and found to be up-regulated in breast cancer, ovarian cancer and prostate cancer. Nonetheless, the expression status and functional significance of IKBKE in human glioma remain unexplored. For the first time, we have demonstrated that mRNA and protein levels of IKBKE were robustly up-regulated in glioma cell lines and human primary glioma tissues. Immunohistochemistry analysis revealed that 53.5% (38/71) paraffin-embedded archived glioma specimens exhibited high levels of IKBKE expression. Intriguingly, there was no significant difference in IKBKE expression among different grades of glioma. To understand the biological function of IKBKE in the development and progression of human glioma, glioma cells lines ectopically over-expressing IKBKE were established and tested for their responsiveness to apoptotic inducers. Our data showed that IKBKE over-expression inhibited cell apoptosis induced by UV irradiation or adriamycin and, in contrast, shRNAi-mediated suppression of IKBKE increased the sensitivity of glioma cells to the apoptotic inducers. Importantly, we found that up-regulated IKBKE could induce the expression of Bcl-2 through activating NF-κB signalling, and that, specifically, we identified IκB as a critical component for this signalling cascade. The current study suggests that up-regulation of IKBKE may represent an important molecular hallmark that is biologically and clinically relevant to the development and progression, as well as the chemo- and radio-resistance, of the disease.

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