Dynamic aberrant NF-κB spurs tumorigenesis: A new model encompassing the microenvironment

Spiros A. Vlahopoulos, Osman Cen, Nina Hengen, James Agan, Maria Moschovi, Elena Critselis, Maria Adamaki, Flora Bacopoulou, John A. Copland, Istvan Boldogh, Michael Karin, George P. Chrousos

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


Recently it was discovered that a transient activation of transcription factor NF-κB can give cells properties essential for invasiveness and cancer initiating potential. In contrast, most oncogenes to date were characterized on the basis of mutations or by their constitutive overexpression. Study of NF-κB actually leads to a far more dynamic perspective on cancer: tumors caused by diverse oncogenes apparently evolve into cancer after loss of feedback regulation for NF-κB. This event alters the cellular phenotype and the expression of hormonal mediators, modifying signals between diverse cell types in a tissue. The result is a disruption of stem cell hierarchy in the tissue, and pervasive changes in the microenvironment and immune response to the malignant cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)389-403
Number of pages15
JournalCytokine and Growth Factor Reviews
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2015


  • Cancer
  • Homeostasis
  • Immunity
  • Inflammation
  • Nuclear Factor kappa B

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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