The risk of developing adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATLL) in individuals infected with human T-cell lymphotropic virus 1 (HTLV-1) is about 3-5%. The mechanisms by which the virus triggers this aggressive cancer are still an area of intensive investigation. The viral protein Tax-1, together with additional regulatory proteins, in particular HTLV-1 basic leucine zipper factor (HBZ), are recognized as relevant viral factors required for both viral replication and transformation of infected cells. Tax-1 deregulates several cellular pathways affecting the cell cycle, survival, and proliferation. The effects of Tax-1 on the NF-κB pathway have been thoroughly studied. Recent studies also revealed the impact of Tax-1 and HBZ on microRNA expression. In this review, we summarize the recent progress in understanding the contribution of HTLV-1 Tax- and HBZ-mediated deregulation of NF-κB and the microRNA regulatory network to HTLV-1 pathogenesis.