hUBC9, an E2 ubiquitin conjugating enzyme, was identified by yeast two-hybrid screening and coprecipitation studies to interact with MEKK1 and the type I TNF-alpha receptor, respectively. Because both of these proteins regulate NFkappaB activity, the role of hUBC9 in modulating NFkappaB activity was investigated. Overexpression of hUBC9 in HeLa cells stimulated the activity of NFkappaB as determined by NFkappaB reporter and IL-6 secretion assays. hUBC9 also synergized with MEKK1 to activate NFkappaB reporter activity. Thus, hUBC9 modulates NFkappaB activity which, at least in part, can be attributed to its interaction with MEKK1 and the type I TNF-alpha receptor.