NF-κB and IRF pathways: cross-regulation on target genes promoter level

BMC Genomics. 2015 Apr 17;16(1):307. doi: 10.1186/s12864-015-1511-7.


Background: The NF-κB and IRF transcription factor families are major players in inflammation and antiviral response and act as two major effectors of the innate immune response (IIR). The regulatory mechanisms of activation of these two pathways and their interactions during the IIR are only partially known.

Results: Our in silico findings report that there is cross-regulation between both pathways at the level of gene transcription regulation, mediated by the presence of binding sites for both factors in promoters of genes essential for these pathways. These findings agree with recent experimental data reporting crosstalk between pathways activated by RIG-I and TLR3 receptors in response to pathogens.

Conclusions: We present an extended crosstalk diagram of the IRF - NF-κB pathways. We conclude that members of the NF-κB family may directly impact regulation of IRF family, while IRF members impact regulation of NF-κB family rather indirectly, via other transcription factors such as AP-1 and SP1.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 3' Untranslated Regions
  • Animals
  • Binding Sites
  • Humans
  • Interferon Regulatory Factors / genetics*
  • Interferon Regulatory Factors / metabolism
  • NF-kappa B / genetics*
  • NF-kappa B / metabolism
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • Signal Transduction
  • Toll-Like Receptor 3 / genetics
  • Toll-Like Receptor 3 / metabolism
  • Transcription Factors / chemistry
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism


  • 3' Untranslated Regions
  • Interferon Regulatory Factors
  • NF-kappa B
  • Toll-Like Receptor 3
  • Transcription Factors