Serine protease inhibitor SerpinE2 is known as a cytokine-inducible gene. Here, we investigated whether tumor necrosis factor alpha-(TNF-alpha)-induced expression of SerpinE2 is mediated by the nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB) p65 subunit. Both steady state and TNF-alpha-induced expression of SerpinE2 mRNA were abrogated in p65-/- murine embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs). Reconstitution with wild-type p65 rescued SerpinE2 mRNA expression in an IkappaB kinase beta-dependent manner. Electrophoresis mobility shift assay and ChIP assay demonstrated that p65 bound to the kappaB-like DNA sequence located at approximately -9 kbp in the SerpinE2 promoter. In addition, TNF-alpha stimulated luciferase gene expression driven by the kappaB-like element in the reconstituted MEFs, but not in p65-/- MEFs. These results indicated that activation of NF-kappaB p65 plays an important role in TNF-alpha-induced expression of SerpinE2.