The Journal of biological chemistry

IKK alpha regulates estrogen-induced cell cycle progression by modulating E2F1 expression.

PMID 16407216


The IkappaB kinase (IKK) complex consists of the catalytic subunits IKKalpha and IKKbeta and a regulatory subunit, IKKgamma/NEMO. Even though IKKalpha and IKKbeta share significant sequence similarity, they have distinct biological roles. It has been demonstrated that IKKs are involved in regulating the proliferation of both normal and tumor cells, although the mechanisms by which they function in this process remain to be better defined. In this study, we demonstrate that IKKalpha, but not IKKbeta, is important for estrogen-induced cell cycle progression by regulating the transcription of the E2F1 gene as well as other E2F1-responsive genes, including thymidine kinase 1, proliferating cell nuclear antigen, cyclin E, and cdc25A. The role of IKKalpha in regulating E2F1 was not the result of reduced levels of cyclin D1, as overexpression of this gene could not overcome the effects of IKKalpha knock-down. Furthermore, estrogen treatment increased the association of endogenous IKKalpha and E2F1, and this interaction occurred on promoters bound by E2F1. IKKalpha also potentiated the ability of p300/CBP-associated factor to acetylate E2F1. Taken together, these data suggest a novel mechanism by which IKKalpha can influence estrogen-mediated cell cycle progression through its regulation of E2F1.