Synergistic activation of NF-κB by nontypeable H. influenzae and S. pneumoniae is mediated by CK2, IKKβ-IκBα, and p38 MAPK

Soo Mi Kweon, Beinan Wang, Davida Rixter, Jae Hyang Lim, Tomoaki Koga, Hajime Ishinaga, Lin Feng Chen, Hirofumi Jono, Haidong Xu, Jian Dong Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In review of the past studies on NF-κB regulation, most of them have focused on investigating how NF-κB is activated by a single inducer at a time. Given the fact that, in mixed bacterial infections in vivo, multiple inflammation inducers, including both nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi) and Streptococcus pneumoniae, are present simultaneously, a key issue that has yet to be addressed is whether NTHi and S. pneumoniae simultaneously activate NF-κB and the subsequent inflammatory response in a synergistic manner. Here, we show that NTHi and S. pneumoniae synergistically induce NF-κB-dependent inflammatory response via activation of multiple signaling pathways in vitro and in vivo. The classical IKKβ-IκBα and p38 MAPK pathways are involved in synergistic activation of NF-κB via two distinct mechanisms, p65 nuclear translocation-dependent and -independent mechanisms. Moreover, casein kinase 2 (CK2) is involved in synergistic induction of NF-κB via a mechanism dependent on phosphorylation of p65 at both Ser536 and Ser276 sites. These studies bring new insights into the molecular mechanisms underlying the NF-κB-dependent inflammatory response in polymicrobial infections and may lead to development of novel therapeutic strategies for modulating inflammation in mixed infections for patients with otitis media and chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)368-375
Number of pages8
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 15 2006


  • CK2
  • NF-κB
  • Polymicrobial infection
  • Synergistic activation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Synergistic activation of NF-κB by nontypeable H. influenzae and S. pneumoniae is mediated by CK2, IKKβ-IκBα, and p38 MAPK'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this