The transcription factor DEC1/STRA13 (also known as BHLHE40 and SHARP2) is involved in a number of processes including inhibition of cell proliferation and delay of cell cycle, and is a negative regulator of B cell activation and development in mice. We show here that, unlike in mice, DEC1/STRA13 expression is induced in human naïve and memory resting B cells by activation through the B-cell receptor (BCR) or Toll-like receptor 9 (TLR9). siRNA silencing of DEC1/STRA13 increases the capacity of activated B cells to perform a high number of divisions after TLR9 ligation. This identifies DEC1/STRA13 as a critical negative regulator of clonal expansion of activated human B cells. We also show that DEC1/STRA13 is upregulated in human anergic CD21low B cells clonally expanded in patients with HCV-associated mixed cryoglobulinemia, which fail to proliferate in response to BCR or TLR9 ligation. siRNA knockdown of DEC1/STRA13, however, fails to restore responsiveness to stimuli in these cells, although it might improve the proliferative capacity in a subset of anergic cells with less pronounced proliferative defect.