Interferon regulatory factor-1(IRF-1) is a transcriptional activator of interferon genes and interferon-inducible genes. It has been shown that IRF-1 functions not only as a regulator of the interferon-responsive system but also as a regulator of cell growth and apoptosis. In addition, it is known that IRF-1 is a short-lived protein, but the mechanism that regulates its stability has not yet been clarified. Here, we show that IRF-1 is degraded via the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway. IRF-1 protein degradation in HeLa and NIH3T3 cells was inhibited by treatment with proteasome-specific inhibitors. Overexpression of IRF-1 protein and ubiquitin in COS7 cells revealed specific multiubiquitination of IRF-1. Although the full-length IRF-1 was unstable, IRF-1 mutants with C-terminal truncations larger than 39 amino acids were found to be almost stable, suggesting that the 39-residue C-terminal region controls the stability of IRF-1. Further analysis of the stability of a green fluorescent protein-fusion protein containing the 39-residue C-terminal region of IRF-1 showed that this C-terminal region confers instability on green fluorescent protein, a normally stable protein, suggesting that this region functions as a protein-degradation signal. Taking the results together, it can be concluded that the 39-residue C-terminal region is necessary and sufficient to control the stability of the IRF-1 protein.