The choice between life and death is one of the major events in regulation of the immune system. T cells that specifically recognize viral or bacterial antigens are selected to survive and proliferate in response to infection, whereas those that are self-reactive are eliminated via apoptosis. Even the survival of alloreactive T cells requires their proper costimulation and, when infection subsides, the activated T cells are eliminated. A major regulator of such life or death decisions is the transcription factor NF-kappaB. However, NF-kappaB cannot function alone. A variety of mechanisms exist to modulate its activity and thereby affect the ultimate outcome of a cell's fate.