NF-kappaB at the Crossroads of Life and Death

Nat Immunol. 2002 Mar;3(3):221-7. doi: 10.1038/ni0302-221.

Abstract

The choice between life and death is one of the major events in regulation of the immune system. T cells that specifically recognize viral or bacterial antigens are selected to survive and proliferate in response to infection, whereas those that are self-reactive are eliminated via apoptosis. Even the survival of alloreactive T cells requires their proper costimulation and, when infection subsides, the activated T cells are eliminated. A major regulator of such life or death decisions is the transcription factor NF-kappaB. However, NF-kappaB cannot function alone. A variety of mechanisms exist to modulate its activity and thereby affect the ultimate outcome of a cell's fate.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis*
  • Humans
  • Immunity
  • Inhibitor of Apoptosis Proteins
  • NF-kappa B / physiology*
  • Proteins / physiology
  • TNF Receptor-Associated Factor 1
  • TNF Receptor-Associated Factor 2
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / pharmacology

Substances

  • Inhibitor of Apoptosis Proteins
  • NF-kappa B
  • Proteins
  • TNF Receptor-Associated Factor 1
  • TNF Receptor-Associated Factor 2
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha