We previously reported that several stresses can induce cytokine-induced neutrophil chemoattractant expression in a nuclear factor kappaB (NF-kappaB)-dependent manner. In this study, we focused further on the regulation of NF-kappaB. The activation of NF-kappaB and the subsequent cytokine-induced neutrophil chemoattractant induction in response to interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta) were inhibited by proteasome inhibitors, MG132 and proteasome inhibitor I. Translocation of NF-kappaB into nuclei occurs by the phosphorylation, multi-ubiquitination, and degradation of IkappaBalpha, a regulatory protein of NF-kappaB. Nascent IkappaBalpha began to degrade 5 min after treatment with IL-1beta and disappeared completely after 15 min. However, IkappaBalpha returned to basal levels after 45-60 min. Interestingly, resynthesized IkappaBalpha was already phosphorylated at Ser-32. These results suggest that 1) the upstream signals are still activated, although the translocation of NF-kappaB peaks at 15 min; and 2) the regulated protein(s) acts downstream of IkappaBalpha phosphorylation. Western blotting showed that the resynthesized and phosphorylated IkappaB molecules were also upward-shifted by multi-ubiquitination in response to IL-1beta treatment. On the other hand, ATP-dependent Leu-Leu-Val-Tyr cleaving activity transiently increased, peaked at 15 min, and then decreased to basal levels at 60 min. Furthermore, the cytosolic fraction that was stimulated by IL-1beta for 15 min, but not for 0 and 60 min, could degrade phosphorylated and multi-ubiquitinated IkappaBalpha. These results indicate that the transient translocation of NF-kappaB in response to IL-1beta may be partly dependent on transient proteasome activation.