This article serves as an introduction to the collection of reviews on nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB). It provides an overview of the discovery and current status of NF-kappaB as a research topic. Described are the structures, activities and regulation of the proteins in the NF-kappaB family of transcription factors. NF-kappaB signaling is primarily regulated by inhibitor kappaB (IkappaB) proteins and the IkappaB kinase complex through two major pathways: the canonical and non-canonical NF-kappaB pathways. The organization and focus of articles included in the following reviews are described, as well as likely future areas of research interest on NF-kappaB.