NF-κB: A family of inducible and differentially expressed enhancer-binding proteins in human T cells

J. A. Molitor, W. H. Walker, S. Doerre, D. W. Ballard, W. C. Greene

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A sensitive DNA-protein crosslinking approach has been used to characterize four inducible T-cell proteins (50 kDa, 55 kDa, 75 kDa, and 85 kDa) that specifically bind to κB enhancer elements. Partial proteolytic mapping revealed a distinct cleavage pattern for three of these proteins. These polypeptides are sequestered as inactive precursors in the cytosol of unstimulated T cells but can be converted into active forms in vivo by phorbol ester stimulation or in vitro by detergent treatment. The induction of these proteins by phorbol ester results in a strikingly biphasic pattern of nuclear expression with the 55-kDa and 75-kDa species appearing within minutes, whereas the 50-kDa and 85-kDa species appear only several hours after cellular stimulation. These data suggest that NF-κB-binding activity may not correspond to a single polypeptide but rather a family of at least four inducible and differentially regulated DNA-binding proteins that are expressed with distinct kinetics in human T lymphocytes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10028-10032
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number24
StatePublished - Dec 1 1990



  • DNA-protein crosslinking
  • T-cell activation
  • cytoplasmic inhibitor IκB
  • human immunodeficiency virus
  • interleukin 2 receptor

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