IKK alpha: Roles in Development, B-cell Survival and ESC Differentiation

Fri, 01/24/2014 - 13:54

Inhibitor of nuclear factor kappa-B kinase subunit alpha (IKK1 alpha) is a serine/threonine kinase that forms a complex with IKK beta and NEMO. It plays an essential role in embryonic skin development. Mice with low levels of IKKa show an increase in squamous cell carcinoma and overexpression of IKK-α in the skin of these mice abrogates tumor formation (1).

IKK-alpha has also been shown to play a role in B-cell maturation and survival.  BAFF is a soluble signal molecule that is required for B-cell survival and signals through an IKK-α regulated NFkB pathway.  Deletion of IKK-a during B-cell development inhibits B-cell maturation and BAFF-dependent survival but deletion IKK-α in mature B-cells shows no effect.  This study indicates that IKK-α plays an important role in B-cell development and survival (2).

Immunohistochemistry-Paraffin: IKK alpha Antibody Immunohistochemistry-Paraffin: IKK alpha Antibody

Not only does IKK1 play an important role in B-cell development, but IKK1 has also been shown to play a role in differentiating embryonic stem cells.  In a recent study (3) authors investigated the role of NFkB in embryonic stem cell differentiation.  High levels of NFkB promote the development of embryonic stem cells into myofibroblasts derived from the neural crest.  When IKKa and IKKb are knocked down, the embryonic stems cells are driven towards a neuroectoderm phenotype.  This knockdown also causes defects in neural tube closure.  These studies show that IKK-a can play an important role in cellular development.

  1. PMID: 17079494
  2. PMID: 24239354
  3. PMID: 22833419

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