During Drosophila embryogenesis, the dorsal transcription factor activates the expression of twist, a transcription factor required for mesoderm formation. We show here that the mammalian twist proteins, twist-1 and -2, are induced by a cytokine signaling pathway that requires the dorsal-related protein RelA, a member of the NF-κB family of transcription factors. Twist-1 and -2 repress cytokine gene expression through interaction with RelA. Mice homozygous for a twist-2 null allele or doubly heterozygous for twist-1 and -2 alleles show elevated expression of proinflammatory cytokines, resulting in perinatal death from cachexia. These findings reveal an evolutionarily conserved signaling circuit in which twist proteins regulate cytokine signaling by establishing a negative feedback loop that represses the NF-κB-dependent cytokine pathway.