Roles of IκB kinase α in centrosome duplication and skin carcinogenesis

Xiaojun Xia, The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston


IκB kinase α (IKKα) is one kinase subunit of the IKK complex that is responsible for NF-κB activation. Previous studies have shown that IKKα determines mouse keratinocyte terminal differentiation independent of the NF-κB pathway. Accumulating evidence suggests that IKKα functions as a tumor suppressor in skin carcinogenesis; however, the downstream pathways mediating this function are largely unknown. By using primary cultured keratinocytes, we found that Ikkα-/- cells developed aneuploidy and underwent spontaneous immortalization and transformation while wild type cells underwent terminal differentiation in the same culture condition. Using proteomic analysis we identified nucleophosmin (NPM), a centrosome duplication regulator, as an IKKα substrate. We further demonstrated that IKKα interacted with NPM and colocalized with NPM on the centrosome, suggesting that NPM is a physiological substrate of IKKα. Loss of IKKα reduced centrosome-bound NPM and promoted abnormal centrosome amplification, which contributed to aneuploidy development. Detailed analysis revealed that ablation of IKKα target site serine-125 of NPM induced destabilization of NPM hexamers, disrupted NPM association with centrosomes, and resulted in abnormal centrosome amplification. Re-introduction of IKKα rescued the defect in Ikkα-/- keratinocytes. Thus, IKKα is required for maintaining proper centrosome duplication by phosphorylating NPM. UV is the major etiological agent for human skin cancer and UV-induced mouse skin carcinogenesis is one of the most relevant experimental models for human skin carcinogenesis. Thus, we further evaluated IKKα function in UV-induced skin carcinogenesis in Ikkα+/- mice. We demonstrated that IKKα is also critical in UV skin carcinogenesis, as evidenced by increased tumor multiplicity and reduced tumor latency in Ikkα+/- mice after chronic UVB treatment. Reduced expression of IKKα decreased UV-induced apoptosis and promoted accumulation of P53 mutations in the epidermis. This indicates that IKKα is critical for UV-induced apoptosis in vivo and thus prevents mutation accumulation that is important for tumor development. Together, these findings uncover previously unknown in vivo functions of IKKα in centrosome duplication and apoptosis, thus providing a possible mechanism of how loss of IKKα may contribute to skin carcinogenesis.

Subject Area

Molecular biology|Cellular biology

Recommended Citation

Xia, Xiaojun, "Roles of IκB kinase α in centrosome duplication and skin carcinogenesis" (2007). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI3275683.