Nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-kappaB) is a transcription factor that resides in the cytoplasm of every cell and translocates to the nucleus when activated. Its activation is induced by a wide variety of agents including stress, cigarette smoke, viruses, bacteria, inflammatory stimuli, cytokines, free radicals, carcinogens, tumor promoters, and endotoxins. On activation, NF-kappaB regulates the expression of almost 400 different genes, which include enzymes (e.g., COX-2, 5-LOX, and iNOS), cytokines (such as TNF, IL-1, IL-6, IL-8, and chemokines), adhesion molecules, cell cycle regulatory molecules, viral proteins, and angiogenic factors. The constitutive activation of NF-kappaB has been linked with a wide variety of human diseases, including asthma, atherosclerosis, AIDS, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, osteoporosis, Alzheimer's disease, and cancer. Several agents are known to suppress NF-kappaB activation, including Th2 cytokines (IL-4, IL-13, and IL-10), interferons, endocrine hormones (LH, HCG, MSH, and GH), phytochemicals, corticosteroids, and immunosuppressive agents. Because of the strong link of NF-kappaB with different stress signals, it has been called a "smoke-sensor" of the body.