B-Myb is a transcription factor belonging to the myb family, whose activity has been associated with augmented DNA synthesis and cell cycle progression. We showed recently that B-Myb autoregulates its own expression through promoter transactivation. We report in this study that CDK9, the cyclin T associated kinase, which phosphorylates and activates RNA-Polymerase II, suppresses B-Myb autoregulation through direct interaction with the carboxyl-terminus of the B-Myb protein. Down-regulation of the transactivating ability of B-Myb is independent of the kinase activity of CDK9, because a kinase deficient mutant (dn-CDK9) also represses B-myb gene autoregulation. Overexpression of CDK9 did not result in suppression of p53-dependent transactivation or inhibition of the basal activity of the promoters tested so far, demonstrating that CDK9 is a B-Myb-specific repressor. Rather, transfection of the dominant negative dn-CDK9 construct inhibited the basal activity of the reporter genes, confirming an essential role for CDK9 in gene transcription. In addition, Cyclin T1 restores B-Myb transactivating activity when co-transfected along with CDK9, suggesting that the down-regulatory effect observed on B-Myb is specifically due to CDK9 alone. Thus, our data suggest that CDK9 is involved in the negative regulation of activated transcription mediated by certain transcription factors, such as B-Myb. This may indicate the existence of a feedback loop, mediated by the different activities of CDK9, which links basal with activated transcription.