The activity of transport system A for neutral amino acids is adaptively stimulated upon amino acid starvation. In cultured human fibroblasts this treatment causes an increase in the expression of the ATA2 system A transporter gene. ATA2 mRNA increase and transport stimulation are suppressed by system A substrates, but they are unaffected by other amino acids. Supplementation of amino acid-starved cells with substrates of system A causes a decrease in both ATA2 mRNA and system A transport activity. These results suggest a direct relationship between ATA2 expression and system A transport activity.