The POU-domain transcription factor Oct-1 is widely expressed in adult tissues and has been proposed to regulate a large group of target genes. Microarray expression profiling was used to evaluate gene expression changes in Oct-1-deficient mouse fibroblasts. A number of genes associated with cellular stress exhibited altered expression. Consistent with this finding, Oct-1-deficient fibroblasts were hypersensitive to gamma radiation, doxorubicin, and hydrogen peroxide and harbored elevated reactive oxygen species. Expression profiling identified a second group of genes dysregulated in Oct-1-deficient fibroblasts following irradiation, including many associated with oxidative and metabolic stress. A number of these genes contain octamer sequences in their immediate 5' regulatory regions, some of which are conserved in human. These results indicate that Oct-1 modulates the activity of genes important for the cellular response to stress.