IKKbeta phosphorylates p65 at S468 in transactivaton domain 2.
The transcription factor nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-kappaB) subunit p65 is phosphorylated by IkappaB kinase (IKK) at S536 in transactivation domain (TAD) 1. In this study, we investigate the presence of IKK sites in TAD2 of p65. Recombinant IKKbeta, but not IKKalpha, phosphorylated a GST-p65 substrate in which TAD1 was deleted. Mutational analysis revealed S468 as the only IKK site in TAD2. S468 phosphorylation occurred rapidly after TNF-alpha and IL-1beta in T cell, B cell, cervix carcinoma, hepatoma, breast cancer, and astrocytoma lines and in primary hepatic stellate cells as well as peripheral blood mononuclear cells. S468-phosphorylated p65 coimmunoprecipitated with IkappaBalpha, indicating that p65 is phosphorylated while bound to IkappaBalpha. Dominant negative IKKbeta or pharmacological IKK inhibition blocked S468 phosphorylation after TNF-alpha or IL-1beta, whereas dominant negative IKKalpha or inhibitors of MEK, p38, JNK, PI-3 kinase, or GSK-3 had no effect. p65S468A-reconstituted p65-/- mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) showed a small, but significant, elevation of NF-kappaB-driven luciferase activity and RANTES mRNA levels after TNF-alpha and IL-1beta in comparison to wtp65-reconstituted MEFs. p65 nuclear translocation was not altered in p65S468A-expressing MEFs. In conclusion, our results indicate that 1) IKKbeta phosphorylates multiple p65 sites, 2) IKKbeta phosphorylates p65 in an IkappaB-p65 complex, and 3) S468 phosphorylation slightly reduces TNF-alpha- and IL-1beta-induced NF-kappaB activation.
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