We investigated the role of Krox-20 (Egr2), a transcription factor that regulates myelination, in controlling the myelin-associated protein periaxin. In developing Schwann cells, periaxin immunoreactivity appeared at least 2 days before Krox-20-immunopositive nuclei. Consistent with this, in Krox-20 null mice periaxin was upregulated on schedule, albeit to a lower level. In culture Krox-20 and periaxin were upregulated by cAMP as expected for myelin genes. Only those cells with the highest periaxin levels also expressed Krox-20, while other periaxin-positive cells remained Krox-20-negative. Furthermore, cAMP elevated periaxin even in Krox-20 null cells. We also found that in culture enforced Krox-20 expression induced expression of periaxin mRNA and protein in the absence of cAMP elevating agents, and that this induction was inhibited by the co-repressor NAB2. These findings reveal a dual mechanism for periaxin regulation and suggest that the role of Krox-20 is to amplify an earlier Krox-20-independent activation of the periaxin gene. Thus the axonal signals responsible for myelination are only partially transduced in Schwann cells by mechanisms that depend on Krox-20.