IKKbeta links inflammation and tumorigenesis in a mouse model of colitis-associated cancer

Cell. 2004 Aug 6;118(3):285-96. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2004.07.013.


A link between inflammation and cancer has long been suspected, but its molecular nature remained ill defined. A key player in inflammation is transcription factor NF-kappaB whose activity is triggered in response to infectious agents and proinflammatory cytokines via the IkappaB kinase (IKK) complex. Using a colitis-associated cancer model, we show that although deletion of IKKbeta in intestinal epithelial cells does not decrease inflammation, it leads to a dramatic decrease in tumor incidence without affecting tumor size. This is linked to increased epithelial apoptosis during tumor promotion. Deleting IKKbeta in myeloid cells, however, results in a significant decrease in tumor size. This deletion diminishes expression of proinflammatory cytokines that may serve as tumor growth factors, without affecting apoptosis. Thus, specific inactivation of the IKK/NF-kappaB pathway in two different cell types can attenuate formation of inflammation-associated tumors. In addition to suppressing apoptosis in advanced tumors, IKKbeta may link inflammation to cancer.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / physiology
  • Colitis / metabolism*
  • Colonic Neoplasms / etiology
  • Colonic Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Enterocytes / enzymology
  • Enterocytes / metabolism
  • I-kappa B Kinase
  • Inflammation / enzymology
  • Inflammation / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Myeloid Cells / physiology
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases / deficiency
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases / metabolism*


  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • Chuk protein, mouse
  • I-kappa B Kinase
  • Ikbkb protein, mouse
  • Ikbke protein, mouse