NF-kappaB is a critical activator of genes involved in inflammation and immunity. Pro-inflammatory cytokines activate the IkappaB kinase (IKK) complex that phosphorylates the NF-kappaB inhibitors, triggering their conjugation with ubiquitin and subsequent degradation. Freed NF-kappaB dimers translocate to the nucleus and induce target genes, including the one for cyclo-oxygenase 2 (COX2), which catalyses the synthesis of pro-inflammatory prostaglandins, in particular PGE. At late stages of inflammatory episodes, however, COX2 directs the synthesis of anti-inflammatory cyclopentenone prostaglandins, suggesting a role for these molecules in the resolution of inflammation. Cyclopentenone prostaglandins have been suggested to exert anti-inflammatory activity through the activation of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma. Here we demonstrate a novel mechanism of antiinflammatory activity which is based on the direct inhibition and modification of the IKKbeta subunit of IKK. As IKKbeta is responsible for the activation of NF-kappaB by pro-inflammatory stimuli, our findings explain how cyclopentenone prostaglandins function and can be used to improve the utility of COX2 inhibitors.