Recent research indicates that inflammatory factors play important roles in the initiation and progression of cancers, including breast cancer. Daintain/allograft inflammatory factor-1 (AIF-1) is a crucial mediator in the inflammatory response, but it has not yet been reported whether daintain/AIF-1 is involved in the development of breast cancers. In this study, immunohistochemical analysis found strong positive expression of daintain/AIF-1 in breast ductal tumor epithelia, but only weakly positive or negative expression in the adjacent histologically normal ductal epithelia. Then, the effect of daintian/AIF-1 on the proliferation of the breast cancer cell line MDA-MB-231 was explored via transduction of the daintian/AIF-1 gene into the cells, and via inhibition of the expression of daintain/AIF-1 through short interference RNA. The results demonstrated that up-regulation and down-regulation of daintain/AIF-1 expressions promoted and inhibited the proliferation of MDA-MB-231, respectively. More interestingly, daintain/AIF-1 overexpression facilitated tumor growth in female nude mice. Furthermore, we found that daintain/AIF-1 overexpression up-regulated the expression of cyclin D1 and enhanced the transcriptional activity of nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB), a regulator of cyclin D1 expression. In contrast, the down-regulation of daintain/AIF-1 expression decreased cyclin D1 expression and inhibited the transcriptional activity of NF-κB. These results strongly suggest that daintain/AIF-1 can promote the growth of breast tumors via activating NF-κB signaling, which consequently up-regulates the expression of cyclin D1, implying that daintain/AIF-1 may be a novel target molecule for the prognosis and therapy of breast cancer. (Cancer Sci 2008; 99: 952–957)