Nuclear factor-B (NF-B) is a ubiquitous transcription factor that governs the expression of genes encoding cytokines, chemokines, growth factors, cell adhesion molecules, and some acute phase proteins in health and in various disease states. NF-B is activated by several agents, including cytokines, oxidant free radicals, inhaled particles, ultraviolet irradiation, and bacterial or viral products. Inappropriate activation of NF-B has been linked to inflammatory events associated with autoimmune arthritis, asthma, septic shock, lung fibrosis, glomerulonephritis, atherosclerosis, and AIDS. In contrast, complete and persistent inhibition of NF-B has been linked directly to apoptosis, inappropriate immune cell development, and delayed cell growth. Therefore, development of modulatory strategies targeting this transcription factor may provide a novel therapeutic tool for the treatment or prevention of various diseases.
Pathology and Physiology Research Branch, Health Effects Laboratory Division, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Morgantown, WV 26505