Activation of NF-kappaB as a consequence of signaling through the Toll and IL-1 receptors is a major element of innate immune responses. We report the identification and characterization of a novel intermediate in these signaling pathways that bridges TRAF6 to MEKK-1. This adapter protein, which we have named ECSIT (evolutionarily conserved signaling intermediate in Toll pathways), is specific for the Toll/IL-1 pathways and is a regulator of MEKK-1 processing. Expression of wild-type ECSIT accelerates processing of MEKK-1, whereas a dominant-negative fragment of ECSIT blocks MEKK-1 processing and activation of NF-kappaB. These results indicate an important role for ECSIT in signaling to NF-kappaB and suggest that processing of MEKK-1 is required for its function in the Toll/IL-1 pathway.