Role of novel serine 316 phosphorylation of the p65 subunit of NF-κB in differential gene regulation

Benlian Wang, Han Wei, Lakshmi Prabhu, Wei Zhao, Matthew Martin, Antja Voy Hartley, Tao Lu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) is a central coordinator in immune and inflammatory responses. Constitutive NF-κB is often found in some types of cancers, contributing to oncogenesis and tumor progression. Therefore, knowing how NF-κB is regulated is important for its therapeutic control. Post-translational modification of the p65 subunit of NF-κB is a well known approach for its regulation. Here, we reported that in response to interleukin 1β, the p65 subunit of NF-κB is phosphorylated on the novel serine 316. Overexpression of S316A (serine 316 → alanine) mutant exhibited significantly reduced ability to activate NF-κB and decreased cell growth as compared with wtp65 (wild type p65). Moreover, conditioned media from cells expressing the S316A-p65 mutant had a considerably lower ability to induce NF-κB than that of wtp65. Our data suggested that phosphorylation of p65 on Ser-316 controls the activity and function of NF-κB. Importantly, we found that phosphorylation at the novel Ser-316 site and other two known phosphorylation sites, Ser-529 and Ser-536, either individually or cooperatively, regulated distinct groups of NF-κB-dependent genes, suggesting the unique role of each individual phosphorylation site on NF-κB-dependent gene regulation. Our novel findings provide an important piece of evidence regarding differential regulation of NF-κB-dependent genes through phosphorylation of different p65 serine residues, thus shedding light on novel mechanisms for the pathway-specific control of NF-κB. This knowledge is key to develop strategies for prevention and treatment of constitutive NF-κB-driven inflammatory diseases and cancers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20336-20347
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number33
StatePublished - Aug 14 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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