Myogenin belongs to a family of myogenic helix-loop-helix (HLH) proteins that activate muscle transcription through binding to a conserved DNA sequence associated with numerous muscle-specific genes. Fibroblast growth factor (FGF) inhibits myogenesis by inactivating myogenic HLH proteins. We show that activated protein kinase C (PKC) can substitute for FGF and inhibit transcriptional activity of myogenic HLH proteins. In transfected cells, FGF induces phosphorylation of a conserved site in the DNA-binding domain of myogenin. This site is phosphorylated by PKC in vivo and in vitro and mediates repression of the myogenic program through a loss in DNA binding activity. A myogenin mutant lacking the PKC phosphorylation site is not repressed by FGF, confirming this site as a molecular target for FGF-dependent repression of muscle transcription. These results establish a direct link between the signal transduction pathways that inhibit myogenesis and the transcription factors directly activating muscle-specific genes.