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Sci. Signal., 25 May 2010
Vol. 3, Issue 123, p. pe18
[DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.3123pe18]

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Controlling the Fate of NIK: A Central Stage in Noncanonical NF-{kappa}B Signaling

Shao-Cong Sun*

Department of Immunology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, 7455 Fannin Street, Box 902, Houston, TX 77030, USA.

Abstract: The noncanonical nuclear factor {kappa}B (NF-{kappa}B) pathway is a specific arm of NF-{kappa}B signaling that regulates important aspects of immune function. Activation of this pathway centers on the modulation of a pivotal signaling component: NF-{kappa}B–inducing kinase (NIK). Under normal conditions, NIK undergoes constitutive degradation, which keeps its abundance below the threshold required for its function, and signal-induced activation of the noncanonical NF-{kappa}B pathway is coupled with the stabilization and accumulation of NIK. A study now shows that signal-induced accumulation of NIK is subject to feedback control, which involves its phosphorylation by a downstream kinase, inhibitor of {kappa}B (I{kappa}B) kinase {alpha} (IKK{alpha}), and degradation. Thus, controlling the fate of NIK is emerging as a central mechanism in noncanonical NF-{kappa}B signaling.

* E-mail, ssun{at}mdanderson.org

Citation: S. C. Sun, Controlling the Fate of NIK: A Central Stage in Noncanonical NF-{kappa}B Signaling. Sci. Signal. 3, pe18 (2010).

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