Rel/NF-kappa B and I kappa B factors in oncogenesis

Semin Cancer Biol. 1997 Apr;8(2):103-11. doi: 10.1006/scbi.1997.0061.


Rel/NF-kappa B transcription factors play fundamental roles in the immune system. These structurally-related proteins share common pathways of activation that involve their release from inhibitory I kappa B factors in response to stimuli. Accumulating evidence also points to a role for Rel and I kappa B proteins in cellular growth control and oncogenesis. The rearrangement and amplification of genes encoding Rel/NF-kappa B and I kappa B proteins in several human cancers, together with the acute oncogenicity of the retroviral v-rel oncogene in birds and mammals, suggests a correlation between their effects on gene expression and their role in malignancy. This review focuses on the current status of the association of Rel/NF-kappa B and I kappa B proteins with neoplastic cell transformation in vitro and in vivo.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic / genetics*
  • Cell Transformation, Viral / genetics*
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Gene Rearrangement
  • Genes, Regulator
  • Humans
  • Leukemia / genetics*
  • Lymphoma / genetics*
  • NF-kappa B / genetics*
  • Oncogenes / genetics
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / genetics*
  • Transcription Factor RelB
  • Transcription Factors*


  • NF-kappa B
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • RELB protein, human
  • Transcription Factors
  • Transcription Factor RelB