Complementation cloning of NEMO, a component of the IkappaB kinase complex essential for NF-kappaB activation

Cell. 1998 Jun 26;93(7):1231-40. doi: 10.1016/s0092-8674(00)81466-x.


We have characterized a flat cellular variant of HTLV-1 Tax-transformed rat fibroblasts, 5R, which is unresponsive to all tested NF-kappaB activating stimuli, and we report here its genetic complementation. The recovered full-length cDNA encodes a 48 kDa protein, NEMO (NF-kappaB Essential MOdulator), which contains a putative leucine zipper motif. This protein is absent from 5R cells, is part of the high molecular weight IkappaB kinase complex, and is required for its formation. In vitro, NEMO can homodimerize and directly interacts with IKK-2. The NEMO cDNA was also able to complement another NF-kappaB-unresponsive cell line, 1.3E2, in which the protein is also absent, allowing us to demonstrate that this factor is required not only for Tax but also for LPS, PMA, and IL-1 stimulation of NF-kappaB activity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Cell Line, Transformed
  • Cloning, Molecular / methods
  • DNA, Complementary / genetics
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / chemistry
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / physiology*
  • Dimerization
  • Fibroblasts
  • Gene Products, tax
  • Genetic Complementation Test*
  • Human T-lymphotropic virus 1
  • I-kappa B Kinase
  • Leucine Zippers
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • NF-kappa B / metabolism*
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases / biosynthesis
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases / chemistry*
  • Rats
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Transcription Factors / chemistry
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / physiology*
  • Transcriptional Activation / physiology*


  • DNA, Complementary
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Gene Products, tax
  • NF-kappa B
  • Transcription Factors
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • I-kappa B Kinase

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AF069542