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Cardiac Role of the Transcription Factor NF-κB

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The signaling pathways that control the life-death switch of a cell are of primary interest in modern biology. In this respect, NF-??B has emerged as a decisive transcription factor in the cell's response to apoptotic challenge and its effects on apoptosis have far-reaching consequences for normal development and/or homeostasis in many cells and tissues, including the immune system, hair follicles, and epidermal appendages, liver, nervous system and recently in heart . In this review we analyze the pivotal role of the transcription factor NF-κB in the normal functioning of the cardiac cell and its implication in common cardiac pathologies, such as ischemia-reperfusion injury, ischemic precondition, hypertrophy, atherosclerosis and cardiac arrest. While NF-κB is usually cytoprotective, it can also be pro-apoptotic depending on the inducing stimulus and the cellular context. Significant progress has been made in elucidating NF-κB's mode of action and its interplay with other key factors. These studies identified some anti- and pro-apoptotic NF-κB regulated genes that mediate its activity. These important new insights fuel hope that novel approaches will be developed to control the effects of NF-κB in cardiac pathologies.

Keywords: Apoptosis; Cardiomyocytes; Heart; Nuclear factor κB (NF-κB)

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2008-06-01

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  • Cardiovascular & Hematological Disorders - Drug Targets aims to cover all the latest and outstanding developments on the medicinal chemistry, pharmacology, molecular biology, genomics and biochemistry of contemporary molecular targets involved in cardiovascular and hematological disorders e.g. disease specific proteins, receptors, enzymes, genes. Each issue of the journal will contain a series of timely in-depth reviews written by leaders in the field covering a range of current topics on drug targets involved in cardiovascular and hematological disorders. As the discovery, identification, characterization and validation of novel human drug targets for cardiovascular and hematological drug discovery continues to grow; this journal will be essential reading for all pharmaceutical scientists involved in drug discovery and development.
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