UV light induces a delayed and prolonged (3-20 h) activation of NFkappaB when compared with the immediate and acute (10-90 min) activation of NFkappaB in response to tumor necrosis factor alpha treatment. In the early phase (3-12 h) of NFkappaB activation, UV light reduces inhibitor of NFkappaB (IkappaB) through an IkappaB kinase-independent, but polyubiquitin-dependent, pathway. However, the mechanism for the UV light-induced reduction of IkappaB and activation of NFkappaB is not known. In this report, we show that UV light down-regulates the total amount of IkappaB through decreasing IkappaB mRNA translation. Our data show that UV light inhibits translation of IkappaB in wild-type mouse embryo fibroblasts (MEF(S/S)) and that this inhibition is prevented in MEF(A/A) cells in which the phosphorylation site, Ser-51 in the eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2 alpha-subunit, is replaced with a non-phosphorylatable Ala (S51A). Our data also show that UV light-induced NFkappaB activation is delayed in MEF(A/A) cells and in an MCF-7 cell line that is stably transfected with a trans-dominant negative mutant protein kinase-like endoplasmic reticulum kinase (PERK). These results suggest that UV light-induced eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2 alpha-subunit phosphorylation translationally inhibits new IkappaB synthesis. Without a continuous supply of newly synthesized IkappaB, the existing IkappaB is degraded through a polyubiquitin-dependent proteasomal pathway leading to NFkappaB activation. Based upon our results, we propose a novel mechanism by which UV light regulates early phase NFkappaB activation by means of an ER-stress-induced translational inhibition pathway.
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