NEMO-binding domains of both IKKα and IKKβ regulate IκB kinase complex assembly and classical NF-κB activation

Department of Animal Biology, University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104, USA.
Journal of Biological Chemistry (Impact Factor: 4.57). 09/2009; 284(40):27596-608. DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M109.047563
Source: PubMed


Proinflammatory NF-kappaB activation requires the IkappaB (inhibitor of NF-kappaB) kinase (IKK) complex that contains two catalytic subunits named IKKalpha and IKKbeta and a regulatory subunit named NF-kappaB essential modulator (NEMO). NEMO and IKKbeta are essential for tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-induced NF-kappaB activation, and we recently demonstrated that NEMO and IKKalpha are sufficient for interleukin (IL)-1-induced signaling. IKKalpha and IKKbeta both contain a functional NEMO-binding domain (NBD); however, the role of NEMO association with each kinase in NF-kappaB signaling and IKK complex formation remains unclear. To address this question, we stably reconstituted IKKalpha(-/-) and IKKbeta(-/-) murine embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) with wild-type (WT) or NBD-deficient (DeltaNBD) versions of IKKalpha and IKKbeta, respectively. TNF-induced classical NF-kappaB activation in IKKbeta(-/-) MEFs was rescued by IKKbeta(WT) but not IKKbeta(DeltaNBD), whereas neither IKKbeta(WT) nor IKKbeta(DeltaNBD) affected IL-1-induced NF-kappaB signaling. As previously described, classical NF-kappaB transcriptional activity was absent in IKKalpha(-/-) cells. Reconstitution with either IKKalpha(WT) or IKKalpha(DeltaNBD) rescued both IL-1 and TNF-induced transcription, demonstrating that NEMO association is not required for IKKalpha-dependent regulation of NF-kappaB-dependent transcription. Stably expressed IKKalpha(WT) or IKKbeta(WT) associated with endogenous IKKs and NEMO in IKKalpha(-/-) or IKKbeta(-/-) MEFs, respectively, resulting in formation of the heterotrimeric IKKalpha-IKKbeta-NEMO complex. In contrast, although the IKKalpha(DeltaNBD) and IKKbeta(DeltaNBD) mutants associated with endogenous IKKs containing an NBD, these dimeric endogenous IKK-IKK(DeltaNBD) complexes did not associate with NEMO. These findings therefore demonstrate that formation of the heterotrimeric IKKalpha-IKKbeta-NEMO holocomplex absolutely requires two intact NEMO-binding domains.

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    • "NEMO is approximately 50 kDa in size, containing two coiled-coil domains along with LZ and zinc finger motifs. Whereas IKKα and IKKβ are responsible for the catalytic activity of the complex, NEMO does not perform any enzymatic functions, but serves as a regulatory hub [29]. While the three individual subunits together form a complex of 210 kDa, the purified IKK complex is estimated to be 700–900 kDa in size. "
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