Akt is a downstream target of NF-κB

Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of Texas at Dallas, Richardson, Texas 75083, USA.
Journal of Biological Chemistry (Impact Factor: 4.57). 09/2002; 277(33):29674-80. DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M112464200
Source: PubMed


The ubiquitously expressed transcription factor NF-kappa B and the serine-threonine kinase Akt both are involved in the promotion of cell survival. Although initially believed to operate as components of distinct signaling pathways, several studies have demonstrated that the NF-kappa B and Akt signaling pathways can converge. Indeed, I kappa B kinase, the kinase involved in NF-kappa B activation, is a substrate of Akt, and activation of Akt therefore stimulates NF-kappa B activity. Although these results place Akt upstream of NF-kappa B activation in the sequence of signaling events, we report that this may not necessarily be the case and that Akt is a downstream target of NF-kappa B. Treatment of NIH3T3 cells with the NF-kappa B activators, tumor necrosis factor (TNF) alpha and lipopolysaccharide, results in the stimulation of Akt phosphorylation. The stimulation of Akt is, however, detected only after I kappa B-alpha degradation is induced by these agents. The nuclear translocation of p65 and increased DNA binding activity of NF-kappa B also precede Akt phosphorylation. Treatment with two pharmacological inhibitors of NF-kappa B, SN50 and N-tosyl-l-phenylalanine chloromethyl ketone (TPCK), blocks TNF-induced Akt activation. On the other hand TNF-mediated NF-kappa B activation is not reduced by the phosphoinositide-3 kinase inhibitors wortmannin and LY294002, although these inhibitors completely block the activation of Akt. These results suggest that NF-kappa B is required for TNF-mediated Akt activation and that it lies upstream of the stimulation of Akt. Consistent with this conclusion is the finding that overexpression of p65/RelA leads to Akt phosphorylation in the absence of extracellular stimulatory factors, whereas overexpression of I kappa B-alpha reduces Akt phosphorylation below basal levels. Interestingly, in addition to stimulating the phosphorylation of Akt, overexpression of p65 causes an increase in the expression of Akt mRNA and protein.

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Available from: Li Liu, May 22, 2015
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    • "Consistently, LY294002 suppressed the TNF-induced upregulation of GFPhighABCB5high melanoma SCs (Figure 5D), strongly supporting AKT involvement in the TNF-mediated regulation of melanoma SC fate determination and functionality. Finally, because TNF-activated AKT targets NFκB, which is a well-known mediator of TNF responses [44-46] that control SC fate [47], and because NFκB can target AKT [48,49], evidencing a cross-talk between these pathways [49,50], we used the NFκB inhibitor BAY 11–7082 in combination with TNF to form melanospheres. This inhibition should distinguish which of the two pathways mediates TNF responses. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background It is well established that inflammation promotes cancer, including melanoma, although the exact mechanisms involved are less known. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that inflammatory factors affect the cancer stem cell (CSC) compartment responsible for tumor development and relapse.ResultsUsing an inducible histone 2B-GFP fusion protein as a tracer of cell divisional history, we determined that tumor necrosis factor (TNF), which is a classical pro-inflammatory cytokine, enlarged the CSC pool of GFP-positive label-retaining cells (LRCs) in tumor-like melanospheres. Although these cells acquired melanoma stem cell markers, including ABCB5 and CD271, and self-renewal ability, they lost their capacity to differentiate, as evidenced by the diminished MelanA expression in melanosphere cells and the loss of pigmentation in a skin equivalent model of human melanoma. The undifferentiated cell phenotype could be reversed by LY294002, which is an inhibitor of the PI3K/AKT signaling pathway, and this reversal was accompanied by a significant reduction in CSC phenotypic markers and functional properties. Importantly, the changes induced by a transient exposure to TNF were long-lasting and observed for many generations after TNF withdrawal.Conclusions We conclude that pro-inflammatory TNF targets the quiescent/slow-cycling melanoma SC compartment and promotes PI3K/AKT-driven expansion of melanoma SCs most likely by preventing their asymmetrical self-renewal. This TNF effect is maintained and transferred to descendants of LRC CSCs and is manifested in the absence of TNF, suggesting that a transient exposure to inflammatory factors imprints long-lasting molecular and/or cellular changes with functional consequences long after inflammatory signal suppression. Clinically, these results may translate into an inflammation-triggered accumulation of quiescent/slow-cycling CSCs and a post-inflammatory onset of an aggressive tumor.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2014 · Cell Communication and Signaling
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    • "In contrast, the NF-κB signaling pathway has also been reported to function upstream of Akt. Overexpression of p65 led to Akt phosphorylation in the absence of extracellular stimulatory factors and caused an increase in the expression of Akt at the mRNA and protein levels [21]. In MDA-MB-231 cells, celecoxib could inactivate pAkt with increased activation of proapoptotic protein [13]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Celecoxib is a selective cyclooxygenase (COX)-2 inhibitor that has been reported to reduce the risk of breast cancer. In our previous study, celecoxib induced apoptosis and caused cell cycle arrest at the G0/G1 phase in the breast cancer cell line MDA-MB-231, and its effects were mediated by downregulation of NF-κB signaling. The NF-κB p65/RelA subunit may play a role in cell death through the activation of anti-apoptotic target genes including the inhibitor of apoptosis (IAP) and Bcl-2 families, and inhibition of protein kinase B/Akt. The aim of the present study was to investigate p65 as the potential target of celecoxib treatment and determine whether p65 overexpression can override the inhibitory effect of celecoxib on NF-κB activity and affect cell survival. The effects of p65 overexpression on celecoxib-inhibited NF-κB transcriptional activity were examined by western blotting, electrophoretic mobility shift assay (EMSA) and luciferase reporter gene assay. Cell viability and cell death were evaluated by the 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazoliumbromide (MTT) assay, and the levels of cleaved poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) and caspase. Anti-apoptotic NF-κB target genes and cell cycle regulators were examined by western blotting to screen for the expression of target genes under direct regulation by p65. Overexpression of p65 increased NF-κB transcriptional activity and interfered with celecoxib-mediated apoptosis as assessed by MTT assay and caspase-3, caspase-9, and PARP expressions. Exogenously overexpressed p65 upregulated NF-κB-responsive genes, including anti-apoptotic genes such as survivin and XIAP, and the cell cycle regulatory gene cyclin D1. However, p65 overexpression did not affect celecoxib-induced p-Akt inactivation, suggesting that celecoxib might have separate molecular mechanisms for regulating Akt signaling independently of its inhibition of NF-κB transcriptional activity. p65 is a pivotal anti-apoptotic factor that can reverse celecoxib-induced growth inhibition in MDA-MB-231 cells.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2013 · Cancer Cell International
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    • "Akt activity but not Akt expression is regulated by HuR levels in proximal tubule cells Our data demonstrate that HuR levels are increased by PI3K/ Akt signaling in proximal tubule cells. Conversely, other studies have suggested that this relationship may be reversed; that is, that HuR modulates Akt activity (Meng et al., 2002; Danilin et al., 2010). Therefore, we performed Western analysis in our cell model to determine whether siRNA-mediated suppression of HuR-affected Akt expression or activity in HK-2 cells. "
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    ABSTRACT: Human antigen R (HuR) is a post-transcriptional regulator of gene expression that plays a key role in stabilizing mRNAs during cellular stress, leading to enhanced survival. HuR expression is tightly regulated through multiple transcription and post-transcriptional controls. Although HuR is known to stabilize a subset of mRNAs involved in cell survival, its role in the survival pathway of PI3-kinase/Akt signaling is unclear. Here, we show that in renal proximal tubule cells, HuR performs a central role in cell survival by amplifying Akt signaling in a positive feedback loop. Key to this feedback loop is HuR-mediated stabilization of mRNA encoding Grb10, an adaptor protein whose expression is critical for Akt activation. Stimulation of Akt by interaction with Grb10 then activates NF-κB, which further enhances HuR mRNA and protein expression. This feedback loop is active in unstressed cells, but its effects are increased during stress. Therefore, this study demonstrates a central role for HuR in Akt signaling and reveals a mechanism by which modest changes in HuR levels below or above normal may be amplified, potentially resulting in cell death or cellular transformation. J. Cell. Physiol. 228: 182-189, 2013. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2013 · Journal of Cellular Physiology
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