Inhibitor of nuclear factor kappa-B kinase subunit beta (IKKβ) is a kinase principally known as a positive regulator of the ubiquitous transcription factor family Nuclear Factor-kappa B (NF-κB). In addition, IKKβ also phosphorylates a number of other proteins that regulate many cellular processes, from cell cycle to metabolism and differentiation. As a consequence, IKKβ affects cell physiology in a variety of ways and may promote or hamper tumoral transformation depending on hitherto unknown circumstances. In this article, we give an overview of the NF-κB-dependent and -independent functions of IKKβ. We also summarize the current knowledge about the relationship of IKKβ with cellular transformation and cancer, obtained mainly through the study of animal models with cell type-specific modifications in IKKβ expression or activity. Finally, we describe the most relevant data about IKKβ implication in cancer obtained from the analysis of the human tumoral samples gathered in The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) and the Catalogue of Somatic Mutations in Cancer (COSMIC).
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