Thymosin beta4 inhibits TNF-alpha-induced NF-kappaB activation, IL-8 expression, and the sensitizing effects by its partners PINCH-1 and ILK

FASEB J. 2011 Jun;25(6):1815-26. doi: 10.1096/fj.10-167940. Epub 2011 Feb 22.


The mechanisms by which thymosin β 4 (Tβ(4)) regulates the inflammatory response to injury are poorly understood. Previously, we demonstrated that ectopic Tβ(4) treatment inhibits injury-induced proinflammatory cytokine and chemokine production. We have also shown that Tβ(4) suppresses TNF-α-mediated NF-κB activation. Herein, we present novel evidence that Tβ(4) directly targets the NF-κB RelA/p65 subunit. We find that enforced expression of Tβ(4) interferes with TNF-α-mediated NF-κB activation, as well as downstream IL-8 gene transcription. These activities are independent of the G-actin-binding properties of Tβ(4). Tβ(4) blocks RelA/p65 nuclear translocation and targeting to the cognate κB site in the proximal region of the IL-8 gene promoter. Tβ(4) also inhibits the sensitizing effects of its intracellular binding partners, PINCH-1 and ILK, on NF-κB activity after TNF-α stimulation. The identification of a functional regulatory role by Tβ(4) and the focal adhesion proteins PINCH-1 and ILK on NF-κB activity in this study opens a new window for scientific exploration of how Tβ(4) modulates inflammation. In addition, the results of this study serve as a foundation for developing Tβ(4) as a new anti-inflammatory therapy.

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.

MeSH terms

  • Actins / metabolism
  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing
  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology
  • COS Cells
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chlorocebus aethiops
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / antagonists & inhibitors
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation / drug effects
  • Gene Expression Regulation / physiology
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-8 / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Interleukin-8 / genetics
  • Interleukin-8 / metabolism*
  • LIM Domain Proteins
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Mutation
  • NF-kappa B / antagonists & inhibitors
  • NF-kappa B / genetics
  • NF-kappa B / metabolism*
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases / genetics
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases / metabolism*
  • Rats
  • Thymosin / genetics
  • Thymosin / pharmacology*
  • Thymosin / physiology
  • Transcription Factor RelA / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Transcription Factor RelA / genetics
  • Transcription Factor RelA / metabolism
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / genetics
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / metabolism*


  • Actins
  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Interleukin-8
  • LIM Domain Proteins
  • LIMS1 protein, human
  • Membrane Proteins
  • NF-kappa B
  • Transcription Factor RelA
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • thymosin beta(4)
  • Thymosin
  • integrin-linked kinase
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases