The inhibitory ankyrin and activator Rel proteins

Curr Opin Genet Dev. 1992 Apr;2(2):211-20. doi: 10.1016/s0959-437x(05)80276-x.


The gene families encoding the proteins NF-kappa B, c-Rel and Dorsal, in conjunction with their respective inhibitors l kappa B, pp40, and Cactus, achieve specificity in gene regulation by means of common principles. The related activities of NF-kappa B and Dorsal are mediated by heterodimeric or homodimeric complexes of proteins containing the conserved dimerization and DNA-binding domain termed Rel. The l kappa Bs and Cactus, which share a core series of structural repeats termed ankyrin, inhibit cognate activators through differential interactions with the Rel-homology domain. Together, the inhibitory ankyrin proteins and their cognate Rel dimers probably define specific signalling pathways able to activate specific gene expression. Both gene families include proto-oncogenes, thus broadly implicating Rel/l kappa B in the control of both normal gene expression and the aberrant gene expression that makes cells cancerous.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Ankyrins
  • Blood Proteins / chemistry
  • Blood Proteins / genetics
  • Blood Proteins / physiology*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / chemistry
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / physiology*
  • Gene Expression Regulation / physiology
  • Humans
  • Membrane Proteins / chemistry
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics
  • Membrane Proteins / physiology*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Multigene Family
  • NF-kappa B / chemistry
  • NF-kappa B / genetics
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / chemistry
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / genetics
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / physiology
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-rel
  • Transcription Factor RelB
  • Transcription Factors*


  • Ankyrins
  • Blood Proteins
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Membrane Proteins
  • NF-kappa B
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-rel
  • RELB protein, human
  • Transcription Factors
  • Transcription Factor RelB