An Essential Role for NF-κB in Preventing TNF-α-Induced Cell Death

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Science  01 Nov 1996:
Vol. 274, Issue 5288, pp. 782-784
DOI: 10.1126/science.274.5288.782


Studies on mice deficient in nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) subunits have shown that this transcription factor is important for lymphocyte responses to antigens and cytokine-inducible gene expression. In particular, the RelA (p65) subunit is required for induction of tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α)-dependent genes. Treatment of RelA-deficient (RelA−/−) mouse fibroblasts and macrophages with TNF-α resulted in a significant reduction in viability, whereas RelA+/+ cells were unaffected. Cytotoxicity to both cell types was mediated by TNF receptor 1. Reintroduction of RelA into RelA−/− fibroblasts resulted in enhanced survival, demonstrating that the presence of RelA is required for protection from TNF-α. These results have implications for the treatment of inflammatory and proliferative diseases.

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