The chemokine RANTES is produced by a variety of tissues, including cells of the monocyte/macrophage lineage. RANTES expression is rapidly and transiently up-regulated in primary monocytes and the monocytic cell line Mono Mac 6 in response to stimulation by the bacterial product lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Transient transfection of Mono Mac 6 cells with RANTES reporter-promoter deletion constructs, in conjunction with DNase I footprinting and heterologous reporter gene assays, allowed identification of an LPS-responsive region within the RANTES promoter. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays (EMSA), methylation interference and EMSA supershift experiments were used to characterize sequences and transcription factors responsible for this LPS inducibility. The region, termed RANTES site G [R(G)], contains consensus sites for Ets and CRE/AP-1-like elements. Site-directed mutagenesis of the Ets site resulted in a loss of only 15 % of promoter activity, while mutation of the CRE/AP-1 site led to a loss of 40 % of LPS-induced promoter activity. The Ets site constitutively binds the Ets family member PU.1. LPS stimulation leads to an induction of ATF-3 and JunD factor binding to the CRE/AP-1 site. Thus, LPS induction of RANTES transcription is mediated, in part, through the activation and selective binding of ATF and Jun nuclear factors to the R(G) promoter module.