We previously isolated, by differential display and 5' RACE (rapid amplification of cDNA ends), cDNAs corresponding to genes activated following cryptogein treatment of tobacco cell suspensions, among them tcI 7 (tcI for tobacco cryptogein Induced), a gene encoding a beta-subunit of proteasome. Here, we report that tcl 7 was up-regulated in tobacco plants treated with elicitins (cryptogein and parasiticein) that have been shown to induce a systemic acquired resistance (SAR). Moreover, subsequent inoculation of tobacco with the pathogen Phytophthora parasitica var. nicotianae (Ppn) was shown to induce an additional activation of tcI 7 in tobacco plants pretreated with cryptogein. We also showed an up-regulation of tcI 7 by salicylic acid (SA). Moreover, accumulation of tcI 7 transcripts after treatment with cryptogein or with SA only occurred in NahG 9-tobacco plants that do not express the salicylate hydroxylase and thus are able to accumulate SA and develop a SAR. Suppressed accumulation of tcI 7 transcripts in NahG 8+ tobacco plants after cryptogein or SA treatment correlated with the loss of SAR. H2O2 was also shown to up-regulate tcI 7 in tobacco plants. Using gene walking by PCR we cloned and sequenced the 5' flanking region of tcI 7 containing hypothetical regulatory sequences, especially myb and NF-kappaB boxes, that could be responsible for the regulation of tcI 7 by salicylic acid and H2O2 respectively.