We describe two transfectable vectors designed to facilitate the functional analysis of eukaryotic promoter/enhancer sequences. The first, pJFCAT1, is an improved chloramphenicol acetyltransferase (CAT) reporter gene expression vector with two features that distinguish it from the majority of other CAT vectors currently in use: 1) it carries a trimer cassette of the simian virus 40 major late polyadenylation site to block plasmid-initiated read-through expression of CAT, and 2) it includes the phage f1 origin of replication, permitting generation of single-stranded copies to serve as templates for oligonucleotide-directed mutagenesis or single-strand DNA sequencing. The promoterless pJFCAT1 directs little if any CAT activity in transfected mouse L cells and, therefore, may be particularly useful for the analysis of weak promoters whose activity is otherwise masked by background CAT expression. The second vector, pTAG-1, uses human beta-globin as a reporter gene and was designed to facilitate the analysis of reporter gene expression at the RNA level. Like pJFCAT1, pTAG-1 also includes the simian virus 40 polyadenylation site trimer cassette located just upstream of the promoter insertion site. We have used each of these vectors to study functional elements in the human and mouse thymidine kinase promoters.