IL-8 plays an integral role in promoting the malignant phenotype in breast cancer, and its production is directly influenced by inflammatory cytokines in the tumor microenvironment. Here, we show that activation of IL-1β receptors on malignant HS578t and MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells strongly induces IL-8 expression and that RNA stabilization is persistently activated at least 12-24 hr after stimulation. SB 203580 and rapamycin reversed the RNA stabilization effect of IL-1β in a dose-dependent manner, suggesting involvement of the p38/MAP kinase and mTOR pathways. A luciferase reporter assay indicated that the stabilization effect was dependent on cis elements in the 3′-untranslated region (UTR) of the IL-8 transcript. By UV cross-linking, we identified multiple cellular factors that interact with the IL-8 3′UTR, ranging 34-76 kDa. Immunoprecipitation analysis indicated that HuR, KSRP and TIAR bound to one or more loci in the 3′UTR. While the cross-linking patterns were similar, quantitative immunoprecipitation of native IL-8 RNA from IL-1β-stimulated cytoplasmic extract revealed a 20-fold greater association of transcript with the stabilizing factor HuR vs. the destabilizing factor KSRP. In conclusion, IL-1β is a potent cytokine stimulus for IL-8 RNA stabilization in breast cancer cells, possibly by enhanced binding of cytoplasmic HuR to the 3′UTR.