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J Immunol. 2003 May 1;170(9):4630-7.

IKK beta is required for peripheral B cell survival and proliferation.

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Laboratory of Gene Regulation and Signal Transduction, Department of Pharmacology, Cancer Center, University of California-San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093, USA.


NF-kappaB activity in mammalian cells is regulated through the IkappaB kinase (IKK) complex, consisting of two catalytic subunits (IKKalpha and IKKbeta) and a regulatory subunit (IKKgamma). Targeted deletion of Ikkbeta results in early embryonic lethality, thus complicating the examination of IKKbeta function in adult tissues. Here we describe the role of IKKbeta in B lymphocytes made possible by generation of a mouse strain that expresses a conditional Ikkbeta allele. We find that the loss of IKKbeta results in a dramatic reduction in all peripheral B cell subsets due to associated defects in cell survival. IKKbeta-deficient B cells are also impaired in mitogenic responses to LPS, anti-CD40, and anti-IgM, indicating a general defect in the ability to activate the canonical NF-kappaB signaling pathway. These findings are consistent with a failure to mount effective Ab responses to T cell-dependent and independent Ags. Thus, IKKbeta provides a requisite role in B cell activation and maintenance and thus is a key determinant of humoral immunity.

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