Controlling the Fate of NIK: A Central Stage in Noncanonical NF-κB Signaling

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

Controlling the Fate of NIK: A Central Stage in Noncanonical NF-κB Signaling

  1. Shao-Cong Sun*
  1. Department of Immunology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, 7455 Fannin Street, Box 902, Houston, TX 77030, USA.
  1. *E-mail, ssun{at}


The noncanonical nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) pathway is a specific arm of NF-κB signaling that regulates important aspects of immune function. Activation of this pathway centers on the modulation of a pivotal signaling component: NF-κB–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-κB 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 κB (IκB) kinase α (IKKα), and degradation. Thus, controlling the fate of NIK is emerging as a central mechanism in noncanonical NF-κB signaling.


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

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