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Recent evidence proving the molecular link between unchecked, chronic inflammation and cancer has implicated the transcription factor NF-kB as a key factor in both inhibiting apoptosis and promoting cell proliferation. Since its initial identification 20 years ago as a simple regulating factor in one small part of the immune response, NF-kB is proving to be the most protean of all transcription factors. It has been shown to function in most cell types as a key regulator of a number of inducible genes. Research on the responsibilities and resulting pathologies of NF-kB has been prolific, but until now there has been no consolidated, multidisciplinary reference. Providing contributions from leading authorities involved with seminal discoveries on the subject, Handbook of Transcription Factor NF-kappaB is an entry point to understanding the broad role of this widely studied factor. Beginning with a summary, the authors introduce the uninitiated reader to the complexities of the NF-kB system. They explain how a multitude of extracellular and intercellular signals integrated at the level of this transcription factor have led to fundamental insights about many aspects of gene regulation and signal transduction. The chapters delve into specific research aspects concerning the function and regulation of NF-kB in a number of biological systems. They discuss inflammation, innate and adaptive immunity, liver integrity, and nervous system development, as well as the formation of hair, skin, teeth, and many other aspects of the developing vertebrate body. The pathological effects of excess NF-kB activity are addressed in chapters on diseases related to chronic inflammation, such as heart disease, muscular dystrophy, cancer, and tumor proliferation, as well as diseases caused by inherent deficiencies in NF-kB. The text culminates in a discussion of current efforts to develop therapies aimed at inhibiting the aberrant activity of NF-kB in different diseases.