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J Biol Chem 2009 Sep 18;284(38):25761-71

Anthrax lethal toxin enhances IkappaB kinase activation and differentially regulates pro-inflammatory genes in human endothelium.

Warfel JM, D'Agnillo F


Anthrax lethal toxin (LT) was previously shown to enhance transcriptional activity of NF-kappaB in tumor necrosis factor-alpha-activated primary human endothelial cells. Here we show that this LT-mediated increase in NF-kappaB activation is associated with the enhanced degradation of the inhibitory proteins IkappaBalpha and IkappaBbeta but not IkappaBepsilon. Moreover, this was accompanied by enhanced activation of the IkappaB kinase complex (IKK), which is responsible for targeting IkappaB proteins for degradation. Importantly, LT enhancement of IkappaBalpha degradation was completely blocked by a selective IKKbeta inhibitor, whereas IkappaBbeta degradation was attenuated, suggesting a mechanistic link. Consistent with the above data, LT-cotreated cells show elevated phosphorylation of two IKK substrates, IkappaBalpha and p65, both of which were blocked by incubation with the IKKbeta inhibitor. Consistent with NF-kappaB activation, LT increased transcription of the NF-kappaB regulated gene CD40. Conversely, LT inhibited transcription of another NF-kappaB-regulated gene, CCL2. This inhibition was linked to the LT-mediated suppression of another CCL2-regulating transcription factor, AP-1 (activator protein-1). These data suggest that LT-mediated enhancement of NF-kappaB is IKK-dependent, but importantly, the net effect of LT on the transcription of proinflammatory genes is driven by the cumulative effect of LT on the particular set of transcription factors that regulate a given promoter. Together, these findings provide new mechanistic insight on how LT may disrupt the host response to anthrax.

Category: Journal Article
PubMed ID: #19620708 DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M109.036970
Includes FDA Authors from Scientific Area(s): Biologics
Entry Created: 2011-10-04 Entry Last Modified: 2012-08-29