Prokaryotic Regulation of Epithelial Responses by Inhibition of IκB-α Ubiquitination

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Science  01 Sep 2000:
Vol. 289, Issue 5484, pp. 1560-1563
DOI: 10.1126/science.289.5484.1560

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Epithelia of the vertebrate intestinal tract characteristically maintain an inflammatory hyporesponsiveness toward the lumenal prokaryotic microflora. We report the identification of enteric organisms (nonvirulent Salmonella strains) whose direct interaction with model human epithelia attenuate synthesis of inflammatory effector molecules elicited by diverse proinflammatory stimuli. This immunosuppressive effect involves inhibition of the inhibitor κB/nuclear factor κB (IκB/NF-κB) pathway by blockade of IκB-α degradation, which prevents subsequent nuclear translocation of active NF-κB dimer. Although phosphorylation of IκB-α occurs, subsequent polyubiquitination necessary for regulated IκB-α degradation is completely abrogated. These data suggest that prokaryotic determinants could be responsible for the unique tolerance of the gastrointestinal mucosa to proinflammatory stimuli.

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