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Nuclear localization of the transcriptional activator NF-κB (nuclear factor κB) is controlled in mammalian cells by three isoforms of NF-κB inhibitor protein: IκBα, -β, and -ɛ. Based on simplifying reductions of the IκB–NF-κB signaling module in knockout cell lines, we present a computational model that describes the temporal control of NF-κB activation by the coordinated degradation and synthesis of IκB proteins. The model demonstrates that IκBα is responsible for strong negative feedback that allows for a fast turn-off of the NF-κB response, whereas IκBβ and -ɛ function to reduce the system's oscillatory potential and stabilize NF-κB responses during longer stimulations. Bimodal signal-processing characteristics with respect to stimulus duration are revealed by the model and are shown to generate specificity in gene expression.