The data presented implicate a GATA binding site in the transcriptional regulation of 15-lipoxygenase-1 (15-LO-1) gene expression in human colorectal carcinoma Caco-2 cells. High expression of GATA-6 mRNA and protein was observed, while GATA-4 mRNA was expressed at a very low level in Caco-2 cells. The expression of GATA-6 was down-regulated, while 15-LO-1 expression was dramatically up-regulated after treatment with sodium butyrate (NaBT). A study using an electrophoretic mobility shift assay indicated that a GATA binding site of the 15-LO-1 promoter region binds to GATA proteins present in both undifferentiated and, to a lesser extent, NaBT-treated (differentiated) Caco-2 cells. Moreover, that DNA binding shift band was disrupted after the addition of GATA-6 antibody in a supershift assay in the absence of NaBT, suggesting that GATA-6 is bound to the GATA binding site of the 15-LO-1 promoter in undifferentiated cells. In contrast, the addition of GATA-6 antibody did not affect the DNA binding ability in NaBT-induced differentiated cells. On the other hand, mutation of the GATA site of the 15-LO-1 promoter decreased the transactivation of the 15-LO-1 promoter as measured by luciferase activity in both FBS and NaBT cultured cells, indicating an unknown GATA binding protein to up-regulate 15-LO-1 expression. These implicate the GATA site at -240 of the proximal region of the 15-LO-1 promoter in the basic transcription of 15-LO-1 gene expression in Caco-2 cells, with GATA-6 acting to repress 15-LO-1 expression.