Signal Transduction from the Cytoplasm to the Cell Nucleus by NF-κB/Rel Transcription Factors

  • M. Lienhard Schmitz
  • Patrick A. Baeuerle
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (volume 92)


An eucaryotic transcription factor system is reviewed that is specialized in the transduction of primarily pathogenic signals from the cytoplasm into the cell’s nucleus. This system, called NF-κB/Rel, comprises a family of five distinct DNA-binding subunits and five regulatory proteins with inhibitory function, called IκB proteins. By interaction of IκB proteins with dimers of the DNA binding subunits, nuclear transport and DNA binding are suppressed, leading to the cytoplasmic accumulation and sequestration of the NF-κB/Rel transcription factors. Following extracellular stimulation, IKB proteins are rapidly degraded and the released factors are able to migrate into the nucleus where they initiate transcription upon DNA-binding to enhancer elements. The activation of NF-κB is controlled indirectly and directly by protein kinases. We review the molecular biology, biochemistry and physiology of this unique signal-transducing system, which is activated by the inducible proteolysis of inhibitory subunits.


Okadaic Acid Nuclear Location Signal Sequence Transcription Activation Domain Reticuloendotheliosis Virus Putative Leucine Zipper 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Lienhard Schmitz
    • 1
  • Patrick A. Baeuerle
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of BiochemistryAlbert-Ludwigs-UniversityFreiburgGermany

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