NF-κB in neurons-mechanisms and myths

Steven W. Barger, Xianrong R. Mao

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The transcriptional activation of specific genes by transciption factor proteins is an important factor in the determination of cell-type specific patterns of gene expression. In one form or another, transcription factors comprising the Rel-family of proteins (responsible for the activity referred to as "NF-κB") are present in every cell type examined. However, studies of NF-κB often rely solely on a single endpoint (e.g., nuclear translocation) as an index of activation. Careful examination of CNS neuronal populations indicates that the initial components of NF-κB activation, up to and including nuclear translocation, are often dissociated from transcriptional activation. Indeed, there are few, if any, circumstances in which classical transcriptional activation by NF-κB has been documented in CNS neurons. In addition to the mechanistic intrigue this disjunction inspires, it is possible that this phenomenon contributes to important cell-type specificity distinguishing neurons from other cell types. It also suggests several implications for pharmacotherapeutic manipulation of NF-κB in the CNS.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTranscription Factors CREB and NF-kB
Subtitle of host publicationInvolvement in Synaptic Plasticity and Memory Formation
PublisherBentham Science Publishers Ltd.
Number of pages17
ISBN (Print)9781608054183
StatePublished - 2012


  • Artifact
  • Cell culture
  • Glia
  • Neurons
  • Nuclear factor kappa B
  • Rel family
  • Reporter gene
  • Specificity protein 4 transcription factor (Sp4)
  • Specificity protein transcription factor (Sp1)
  • Transcription


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