The restricted expression of the tyrosinase gene in cells producing pigment suggests the presence of cis-regulatory elements and trans-acting tissue-specific factors. Since 270 bp upstream of the transcriptional start site contain sufficient information for tissue-specific and developmentally regulated expression, we confined our analyses to this region. In this article, we discuss the recent results we have obtained on the regulation of the mouse tyrosinase gene expression demonstrating the existence of one negative and two positive-acting elements in vitro. We have evidence that the positive elements do not determine pigment production in vivo but rather modulate transcription of the mouse tyrosinase gene.