1. In this study we examined the signalling events that regulate lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated induction of interferon regulatory factor (IRF)-1 in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs). 2. LPS stimulated a time- and concentration-dependent increase in IRF-1 protein expression, an effect that was mimicked by the cytokine, tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha. 3. LPS stimulated a rapid increase in nuclear factor kappa B (NFkappaB) DNA-binding activity. Pre-incubation with the NFkappaB pathway inhibitors, N-alpha-tosyl-L-lysine chloromethyl ketone (TLCK) or pyrrolidine dithiocarbamate (PDTC), or infection with adenovirus encoding IkappaBalpha, blocked both IRF-1 induction and NFkappaB DNA-binding activity. 4. LPS and TNFalpha also stimulated a rapid activation of gamma interferon activation site/gamma interferon activation factor (GAS/GAF) DNA-binding in HUVECs. Preincubation with the Janus kinase (JAK)-2 inhibitor, AG490 blocked LPS-stimulated IRF-1 induction but did not affect GAS/GAF DNA-binding. 5. Preincubation with TLCK, PDTC or infection with IkappaBalpha adenovirus abolished LPS-stimulated GAS/GAF DNA-binding. 6. Incubation of nuclear extracts with antibodies to RelA/p50 supershifted GAS/GAF DNA-binding demonstrating the involvement of NFkappaB isoforms in the formation of the GAS/GAF complex. 7. These studies show that NFkappaB plays an important role in the regulation of IRF-1 induction in HUVECs. This is in part due to the interaction of NFkappaB isoforms with the GAS/GAF complex either directly or via an intermediate protein.