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EMBO J. 1998 Sep 1;17(17):5170-81.

Sequential DNA damage-independent and -dependent activation of NF-kappaB by UV.

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Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe, Institut für Genetik, P.O. Box 3640, 76021 Karlsruhe, Germany.


NF-kappaB activation in response to UV irradiation of HeLa cells or of primary human skin fibroblasts occurs with two overlapping kinetics but totally different mechanisms. Although both mechanisms involve induced dissociation of NF-kappaB from IkappaBalpha and degradation of IkappaBalpha, targeting for degradation and signaling are different. Early IkappaBalpha degradation at 30 min to approximately 6 h is not initiated by UV-induced DNA damage. It does not require IkappaB kinase (IKK), as shown by introduction of a dominant-negative kinase subunit, and does not depend on the presence of the phosphorylatable substrate, IkappaBalpha, carrying serines at positions 32 and 36. Induced IkappaBalpha degradation requires, however, intact N- (positions 1-36) and C-terminal (positions 277-287) sequences. IkappaB degradation and NF-kappaB activation at late time points, 15-20 h after UV irradiation, is mediated through DNA damage-induced cleavage of IL-1alpha precursor, release of IL-1alpha and autocrine/paracrine action of IL-1alpha. Late-induced IkappaBalpha requires the presence of Ser32 and Ser36. The late mechanism indicates the existence of signal transfer from photoproducts in the nucleus to the cytoplasm. The release of the 'alarmone' IL-1alpha may account for some of the systemic effects of sunlight exposure.

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