Constitutive NF-κB activation in cancer cells is caused by defects in the signalling network responsible for terminating the NF-κB response. Here we report that plant homeodomain finger protein 20 (PHF20) maintains NF-κB in an active state in the nucleus by inhibiting the interaction between PP2A and p65. We show that PHF20 induces canonical NF-κB signalling by increasing the DNA-binding activity of NF-κB subunit p65. In PHF20 overexpressing cells, the termination of tumour necrosis factor-induced p65 phosphorylation is impaired whereas upstream signalling events triggered by tumour necrosis factor are unaffected. This effect strictly depends on the interaction between PHF20 and methylated lysine residues of p65, which hinders recruitment of PP2A to p65, thereby maintaining p65 in a phosphorylated state. We further show that PHF20 levels correlate with p65 phosphorylation levels in human glioma specimens. Our work identifies PHF20 as a novel regulator of NF-κB activation and suggests that elevated expression of PHF20 may drive constitutive NF-κB activation in some cancers.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)