Résumé : NF-κB is essential for effective transcription of primate lentiviral genomes and also activates antiviral host genes. Here, we show that the early protein Nef of most primate lentiviruses enhances NF-κB activation. In contrast, the late protein Vpu of HIV-1 and its simian precursors inhibits activation of NF-κB, even in the presence of Nef. Although this effect of Vpu did not correlate with its ability to interact with β-TrCP, it involved the stabilization of IκB and reduced nuclear translocation of p65. Interestingly, however, Vpu did not affect casein kinase II-mediated phosphorylation of p65. Lack of Vpu was associated with increased NF-κB activation and induction of interferon and interferon-stimulated genes (ISGs) in HIV-1-infected T cells. Thus, HIV-1 and its simian precursors employ Nef to boost NF-κB activation early during the viral life cycle to initiate proviral transcription, while Vpu is used to downmodulate NF-κB-dependent expression of ISGs at later stages.