The product of the junB gene, a gene homologous to the proto-oncogene c-jun, is a component of transcription factor AP-1. JunB expression is modulated by a wide variety of extracellular stimuli, such as serum, growth factors, phorbol esters (TPA) and activators of protein kinase A (PKA). In order to study the molecular basis of this complex regulation, we have cloned the mouse junB gene from a genomic testis library, and characterized the junB promoter. Here we show that the junB promoter is activated by serum, TPA, and activated PKA. Sequences located between -91 and -44 are necessary for induction. These sequences contain a CAAT box, a G-C rich region and a previously undescribed inverted repeat (IR). The IR element can mediate induction by TPA and PKA when coupled to a heterologous promoter, and specifically binds a protein of 110 kD.