Hydrogen peroxide activates IκB kinases through phosphorylation of serine residues in the activation loops

Hideaki Kamata, Tomoyuki Manabe, Shin ichi Oka, Keiko Kamata, Hajime Hirata

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148 Scopus citations


The cellular redox state regulates nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) signaling systems. We investigated the effects of H2O2 on inhibitor of NF-κB (IκB) kinases (IKKα and IKKβ), which phosphorylate IκB leading to its degradation and NF-κB activation. Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) stimulation increased IKK activity within 10 min, and then IKK activity decreased gradually within 30 min in HeLa cells. Stimulation of the cells with H2O2 induced a slight activation of IKK within 30 min. Furthermore, co-stimulation with TNF suppressed the downregulation of IKK and sustained the activation for more than 30 min. H2O2 also markedly activated IKK in cells that were pretreated with TNF or phorbol myristate acetate. Electrophoretic mobility shift assay revealed that H2O2 enhanced TNF-induced NF-κB activation. Studies using IKK mutants and an antibody against phosphorylated IKK proteins revealed that phosphorylation of serine residues, Ser180 of IKKα and Ser181 of IKKβ, in the activation loops was essential for the H2O2-mediated activation of IKK. H2O2-induced activation of IKKα and IKKβ was reduced by IKKβ and IKKα kinase-negative mutants, respectively, indicating that IKKα and IKKβ were stimulated by H2O2 in an interdependent manner. These results suggest that oxidative radical stress has stimulatory effects on NF-κB through the activation of IKK, which is mediated by the phosphorylation of serine residues in the activation loops.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)231-237
Number of pages7
JournalFEBS Letters
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - May 22 2002
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biophysics
  • Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cell Biology


  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • IκB kinase
  • NF-κB
  • Phosphorylation


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