The fibroblast growth factor-binding protein (FGF-BP) modulates FGF activity through binding and release from the extracellular matrix. Consequently, the expression of FGF-BP in certain tumor types is a rate-limiting regulator of FGF-mediated angiogenesis. FGF-BP is upregulated in squamous cell carcinoma by treatment with mitogens such as EGF or TPA. In this study, we investigated the regulation of FGF-BP gene expression by serum. Treatment of serum-starved ME-180 cells with fetal bovine serum (FBS) resulted in a rapid increase in steady-state levels of FGF-BP mRNA and in the rate of FGF-BP gene transcription. Serum induction of FGF-BP mRNA was not mediated through EGF receptor activation but was dependent on PKC, as well as ERK kinase (MEK) and p38 MAP kinase activation. Promoter analysis showed that C/EBP is the main promoter element required for the serum response. Unlike EGF-activation of FGF-BP, transcriptional induction by serum is not significantly regulated through the AP-1 or E-box sites in the promoter. These results illustrate differences between the mechanism of induction in response to serum and EGF.