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J Biol Chem. 1998 Mar 20;273(12):6607-10.

IkappaBalpha degradation and nuclear factor-kappaB DNA binding are insufficient for interleukin-1beta and tumor necrosis factor-alpha-induced kappaB-dependent transcription. Requirement for an additional activation pathway.

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Department of Thoracic Medicine, National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College School of Medicine, Dovehouse Street, London SW3 6LY, United Kingdom.


Two closely related IkappaBalpha kinases as well as the upstream kinase, NIK, which integrates interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta)- and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha-dependent activation of the transcription factor NF-kappaB have recently been described. However, in this emerging pathway the role of previously identified components of cytokine-induced NF-kappaB activation, namely phosphatidylcholine-specific phospholipase C and protein kinase C, remains unclear. We now show that, in A549 human alveolar epithelial cells, the activation of a stably transfected NF-kappaB-dependent reporter gene by TNF-alpha and IL-1beta is completely blocked by the phosphatidylcholine-specific phospholipase C inhibitor D609 and the protein kinase C inhibitor RO31-8220. However, IL-1beta-induced IkappaBalpha degradation as well as NF-kappaB nuclear translocation and DNA binding, as determined by Western blot and electro-mobility shift assay, respectively, are not affected by these inhibitors. A similar effect, although less pronounced, is observed with the p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase inhibitor SB 203580. On the basis of these data we propose the existence of a second signaling pathway induced by IL-1beta and TNF-alpha that is activated in parallel to the cascade leading to IkappaBalpha degradation and is specifically required for NF-kappaB-dependent transcriptional competency.

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