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The IκB kinase (IKK) is an enzyme complex that is involved in propagating the cellular response to inflammation.The IκB kinase enzyme complex is part of the upstream NF-κB signal transduction cascade. The IκBα (inhibitor of nuclear factor kappa B) protein inactivates the NF-κB transcription factor by masking the nuclear localization signals (NLS) of NF-κB proteins and keeping them sequestered in an inactive state in the cytoplasm. Specifically, IKK phosphorylates the inhibitory IκBα protein. This phosphorylation results in the dissociation of IκBα from NF-κB. NF-κB, which is now free, migrates into the nucleus and activates the expression of at least 150 genes; some of which are anti-apoptotic.
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