ENDOGENOUS superantigens are encoded by the open reading frame contained within the mouse mammary tumour virus long terminal repeat (MMTV LTR). Superantigen expression results in T-cell proliferation and, during early ontogeny, T-cell deletion1,2. Here we identify a novel promoter located upstream of the previously described MMTV promoter. Transcripts from this promoter initiate within the U3 region of the MMTV LTR and splice to the acceptor for endogenous superantigen coding region. The novel U3 promoter is active in B lymphocytes, which are cognate antigen-presenting cells for endogenous superantigen, and is able to direct expression of superantigen in the absence of the previously described MMTV promoter.