IκBε provides negative feedback to control NF-κB oscillations, signaling dynamics, and inflammatory gene expression
Rockefeller University Press -- Journal of Cell Biology
DOI 10.1083/jcb.200510155

NF-κB signaling is known to be critically regulated by the NF-κB–inducible inhibitor protein IκBα. The resulting negative feedback has been shown to produce a propensity for oscillations in NF-κB activity. We report integrated experimental and computational studies that demonstrate that another IκB isoform, IκBɛ, also provides negative feedback on NF-κB activity, but with distinct functional consequences. Upon stimulation, NF-κB–induced transcription of IκBɛ is delayed, relative to that of IκBα, rendering the two negative feedback loops to be in antiphase. As a result, IκBɛ has a role in dampening IκBα-mediated oscillations during long-lasting NF-κB activity. Furthermore, we demonstrate the requirement of both of these distinct negative feedback regulators for the termination of NF-κB activity and NF-κB–mediated gene expression in response to transient stimulation. Our findings extend the capabilities of a computational model of IκB–NF-κB signaling and reveal a novel regulatory module of two antiphase negative feedback loops that allows for the fine-tuning of the dynamics of a mammalian signaling pathway.