Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 15466857
J. Biol. Chem. 2004 Dec;279(52):54248-57
NF-kappa B essential modulator/IKK-gamma (NEMO/IKK-gamma) plays a key role in the activation of the NF-kappa B pathway in response to proinflammatory stimuli. Previous studies suggested that the signal-dependent activation of the IKK complex involves the trimerization of NEMO. The minimal oligomerization domain of this protein consists of two coiled-coil subdomains named Coiled-coil 2 (CC2) and leucine zipper (LZ) (Agou, F., Traincard, F., Vinolo, E., Courtois, G., Yamaoka, S., Israel, A., and Veron, M. (2004) J. Biol. Chem. 279, 27861-27869). To search for drugs inhibiting NF-kappa B activation, we have rationally designed cell-permeable peptides corresponding to the CC2 and LZ subdomains that mimic the contact areas between NEMO subunits. The peptides were tagged with the Antennapedia/Penetratin motif and delivered to cells prior to stimulation with lipopolysaccharide. Peptide transduction was monitored by fluorescence-activated cell sorter, and their effect on lipopolysaccharide-induced NF-kappa B activation was quantified using an NF-kappa B-dependent beta-galactosidase assay in stably transfected pre-B 70Z/3 lymphocytes. We show that the peptides corresponding to the LZ and CC2 subdomains inhibit NF-kappa B activation with an IC(50) in the mum range. Control peptides, including mutated CC2 and LZ peptides and a heterologous coiled-coil peptide, had no inhibitory effect. The designed peptides are able to induce cell death in human retinoblastoma Y79 cells exhibiting constitutive NF-kappa B activity. Our results provide the “proof of concept” for a new and promising strategy for the inhibition of NF-kappa B pathway activation through targeting the oligomerization state of the NEMO protein.