A Drosophila IκB kinase complex required for relish cleavage and antibacterial immunity

Neal Silverman, Rui Zhou, Svenja Stöven, Niranjan Pandey, Dan Hultmark, Tom Maniatis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

230 Scopus citations


Here we report the identification of a Drosophila IκB kinase complex containing DmIKKβ and DmIKKγ, homologs of the human IKKβ and IKKγ proteins. We show that this complex is required for the signal-dependent cleavage of Relish, a member of the Rel family of transcriptional activator proteins, and for the activation of antibacterial immune response genes. In addition, we find that the activated DmIKK complex, as well as recombinant DmIKKβ, can phosphorylate Relish in vitro. Thus, we propose that the Drosophila IκB kinase complex functions, at least in part, by inducing the proteolytic cleavage of Relish. The N terminus of Relish then translocates to the nucleus and activates the transcription of antibacterial immune response genes. Remarkably, this Drosophila IκB kinase complex is not required for the activation of the Rel proteins Dif and Dorsal through the Toll signaling pathway, which is essential for antifungal immunity and dorsoventral patterning during early development. Thus, a yet to be identified IκB kinase complex must be required for Rel protein activation via the Toll signaling pathway.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2461-2471
Number of pages11
JournalGenes and Development
Issue number19
StatePublished - Oct 1 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • IKK
  • Insect immunity
  • NF-κB
  • Relish

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Developmental Biology


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