The chemokine RANTES is an important mediator of inflammatory processes. In this report, we describe the DNA sequence and transcription factor requirements for interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta) induction of the RANTES promoter in the human astrocytoma line CH235. RANTES promoter sequences between -278 and +55 are sufficient for IL-1beta-inducibility. In vitro DNA binding assays demonstrate constitutive binding of Sp1, HMG, Ets domain, and bZIP family members to their cognate sites in the RANTES promoter, whereas NF-kappaB and IRF-1 bind in an IL-1beta-inducible manner. IL-1beta-inducibility of the RANTES promoter requires both constitutive and inducible transcription factors. The formation of a higher order nucleoprotein complex, or 'enhanceosome', may be critical for IL-1beta induction of the RANTES promoter.