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Signaling Crosstalk Mechanisms That May Fine-Tune Pathogen-Responsive NFκB.


Precise control of inflammatory gene expression is critical for effective host defense without excessive tissue damage. The principal regulator of inflammatory gene expression is nuclear factor kappa B (NFκB), a transcription factor. Nuclear NFκB activity is controlled by IκB proteins, whose stimulus-responsive degradation and re-synthesis provide for transient or dynamic regulation. The IκB-NFκB signaling module receives input signals from a variety of pathogen sensors, such as toll-like receptors (TLRs). The molecular components and mechanisms of NFκB signaling are well-understood and have been reviewed elsewhere in detail. Here we review the molecular mechanisms that mediate cross-regulation of TLR-IκB-NFκB signal transduction by signaling pathways that do not activate NFκB themselves, such as interferon signaling pathways. We distinguish between potential regulatory crosstalk mechanisms that (i) occur proximal to TLRs and thus may have stimulus-specific effects, (ii) affect the core IκB-NFκB signaling module to modulate NFκB activation in response to several stimuli. We review some well-documented examples of molecular crosstalk mechanisms and indicate other potential mechanisms whose physiological roles require further study.

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