Interleukin-1 (IL-1) is involved in a broad range of biological activities that affect immunological, inflammatory, and nonimmunological responses. Although the role of the IL-1 proteins in normal physiological responses in vivo remains incompletely defined, there is substantial evidence that excessive production of IL-1 contributes to the pathogenesis of many illnesses with autoimmune or inflammatory components, including rheumatoid and osteoarthritis, type I diabetes mellitus and atherosclerosis. Despite numerous reports on IL-1 regulation, very little is known regarding the molecular details of IL-1 production, particularly at the transcription level. This review will focus on our studies of transcriptional regulation of the murine IL-1beta gene and, where appropriate, comparison to similar studies of the human IL-1beta gene. A basic understanding at this level should lead to effective pharmacological intervention and, ultimately, to control of inflammatory disease.