NF-kappaB and IKK as therapeutic targets in cancer

Cell Death Differ. 2006 May;13(5):738-47. doi: 10.1038/sj.cdd.4401877.


The transcription factor NF-kappaB and associated regulatory factors (including IkappaB kinase subunits and the IkappaB family member Bcl-3) are strongly implicated in a variety of hematologic and solid tumor malignancies. A role for NF-kappaB in cancer cells appears to involve regulation of cell proliferation, control of apoptosis, promotion of angiogenesis, and stimulation of invasion/metastasis. Consistent with a role for NF-kappaB in oncogenesis are observations that inhibition of NF-kappaB alone or in combination with cancer therapies leads to tumor cell death or growth inhibition. However, other experimental data indicate that NF-kappaB can play a tumor suppressor role in certain settings and that it can be important in promoting an apoptotic signal downstream of certain cancer therapy regimens. In order to appropriately move NF-kappaB inhibitors in the clinic, thorough approaches must be initiated to determine the molecular mechanisms that dictate the complexity of oncologic and therapeutic outcomes that are controlled by NF-kappaB.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Apoptosis
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Disease Progression
  • Humans
  • I-kappa B Kinase / metabolism
  • I-kappa B Kinase / physiology*
  • Inflammation / metabolism
  • Models, Biological*
  • NF-kappa B / antagonists & inhibitors
  • NF-kappa B / metabolism*
  • Neoplasm Metastasis / pathology
  • Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Neoplasms / immunology
  • Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Signal Transduction


  • NF-kappa B
  • I-kappa B Kinase