MSSP has been identified as a transcription factor that regulates the c-myc gene. MSSP was later found to positively or negatively regulate a variety of genes, including alpha-smooth actin, MHC class I, MHC class 2 and the thyrotropin receptor. The knockout mice for the Mssp gene developed by us revealed that these mice became partially embryonic lethal due to a low concentration of progesterone at E2.5. In this study, we further analyzed Mssp-knockout mice and found that the expression of the Fas gene was repressed, resulting in abrogation of Fas-mediated induction of apoptosis both in Mssp-knockout mice and primary thymocytes. MSSP was then found to stimulate promoter activity of the Fas gene by binding to a region spanning -1035 to -635 in chromatin immunoprecipitation assays. Binding of MSSP in the MSSP-binding sequence, TCTAAT, located in this region was confirmed by mobility shift assays, and deletion of this sequence from the Fas promoter was found to result in loss of MSSP-dependent stimulating activity. The results suggest that MSSP is an important mediator for Fas-induced apoptosis in vivo and in vitro.