Stat1 is a fascinating and complex protein with multiple, yet contrasting transcriptional functions. Upon activation, it drives the expression of many genes but also suppresses the transcription of others. These opposing characteristics also apply to its role in facilitating crosstalk between signal transduction pathways, as it participates in both synergistic activation and inhibition of gene expression. Stat1 is a functional transcription factor even in the absence of inducer-mediated activation, participating in the constitutive expression of some genes. This review summarizes the well studied involvement of Stat1 in IFN-dependent and growth factor-dependent signaling and then describes the roles of Stat1 in positive, negative and constitutive regulation of gene expression as well as its participation in crosstalk between signal transduction pathways. Oncogene (2000).