We identified a new, unique upstream activating sequence (5'-GGTGGCAAA-3') in the promoters of 26 out of the 32 proteasomal yeast genes characterized to date, which we propose to call proteasome-associated control element. By using the one-hybrid method, we show that the factor binding to the proteasome-associated control element is Rpn4p, a protein containing a C2H2-type finger motif and two acidic domains. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays using proteasome-associated control element sequences from two regulatory proteasomal genes confirmed specific binding of purified Rpn4p to these sequences. The role of Rpn4p to function as a transregulator in yeast is corroborated by its ability of stimulating proteasome-associated control element-driven lacZ expression and by experiments using the RPT4 and RPT6 gene promoters coupled to the bacterial cat gene as a reporter. Additionally, we found the proteasome-associated control element to occur in a number of promoters to genes which are related to the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway in yeast.