Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is an aggressive subtype of B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) and accounts for 30%to 40%of NHL. Molecules targeting nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB) are expected to be of therapeutic value in those tumors where NF-kappaB seems to play a unique survival role such as activated B-cell (ABC)-subtype DLBCL. We previously generated a rGel/BLyS fusion toxin for receptor-mediated delivery of the rGel toxin specifically to malignant B cells. In this study, we examined this fusion toxin for its ability to suppress DLBCL growth in vitro and in vivo. rGel/BLyS was specifically cytotoxic to DLBCL lines expressing all three BLyS receptors and constitutively active NF-kappaB. Treatment with rGel/BLyS induced down-regulation of the phosphorylation of inhibitory subunit of NF-kappaB (IkappaB-alpha), inhibition of NF-kappaB DNA-binding activity, and accumulation of IkappaB-alpha. In agreement with these results, we additionally found that rGel/BLyS downregulated levels of several NF-kappaB targets including Bcl-xL, Mcl-1, survivin, and x-chromosome linked inhibitor-of-apoptosis. Treatment also induced up-regulation of Bax and apoptosis through caspase-3 activation and poly ADP-ribose polymerase cleavage. Importantly, rGel/BLyS significantly inhibited tumor growth (P < .05) in a DLBCL xenograft model. Thus, our results indicate that rGel/BLyS is an excellent candidate for the treatment of aggressive NHLs that are both dependent on NF-kappaB and are resistant to conventional chemotherapeutic regimens.