The neuron-derived orphan receptor (NOR-1) is a member of the NGFI-B subfamily within the nuclear receptor superfamily. In T-cell apoptosis, where NGFI-B plays an essential role, a functional redundancy between NGFI-B and NOR-1 has been demonstrated. Here, we examined the regulation and expression of the NOR-1 gene during cell death induced by a calcium ionophore A23187 in the human breast cancer cell line MCF-7. A23187 caused a transient increase in NOR-1 mRNA levels within 6 h after treatment. To delineate the sequences required for the transitional response to A23187, a series of promoter deletion mutants were constructed. From the transient transfection experiments, the element responsive to A23187 was identified between -94 and -42 base pairs upstream from the transcription initiation site. This 53-base pairs region contains three copies of the cAMP response element (CRE). Furthermore, phosphorylation of the CRE-binding protein (CREB), which affects the transcription of the CRE dependent-genes, was detected 30 min after A23187 stimulation. Our findings are consistent with NOR-1 involvement in A23187-induced cell death via the CRE-CREB signaling pathway.