Ser484 and Ser494 in REL Are the Major Sites of IKK Phosphorylation In Vitro: Evidence That IKK Does Not Directly Enhance GAL4-REL Transactivation
Human c-Rel (REL) is a member of the NF-B family of transcription factors, and one of its primary physiological roles is in the regulation of B-cell proliferation and survival. Although REL is primarily regulated by cytoplasmic-nuclear translocation through interaction with IB inhibitors, REL also undergoes several posttranslational modifications that have been proposed to modulate its transcriptional activation activity. For example, phosphorylation of C-terminal sequences of REL has been proposed to increase its transactivation activity. In this report, we have used immune complex kinase assays to identify Ser484 and Ser494 as the primary sites of IKKα- and IKK-mediated in vitro phosphorylation in the C-terminal transactivation domain of REL. However, in cotransfection studies in A293 cells we have failed to detect IKK-mediated phosphorylation of these sites on REL in vivo, nor does IKK appear to interact with REL in these cells. Ser-to-Ala mutation of Ser484 and Ser494 does not affect IKK's ability to enhance GAL4-REL transactivation in reporter gene assays in A293 cells. We also show that the previously reported effects of overexpressed IKK and tumor necrosis factor treatment on GAL4-REL transactivation are due to IKK-mediated activation of the endogenous NF-B pathway, which increases transcription from B sites in the promoter of a commonly used GAL4 expression vector. Taken together, these results do not support a role for IKK-mediated phosphorylation as means for regulating the activity of REL in vivo.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: April 1, 2008
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