We have identified an estrogen-responsive enhancer element (DH3 ERE) in the estrogen-induced DNAase I-hypersensitive region III of the chicken ovalbumin gene, which is located approximately 3.3 kb upstream from the mRNA start site and does not contain palindromic ERE. Four TGACC half-palindromic motifs, separated from each other by more than 100 bp, are responsible for conferring estrogen inducibility either to the proximal ovalbumin gene promoter or to heterologous promoters. Thus, widely spaced half-palindromic ERE motifs can act synergistically. Each half-palindromic motif was shown to bind the estrogen receptor (ER) with a low efficiency in vitro. However, two widely spaced half-palindromic motifs bound the ER cooperatively, much more efficiently than expected from binding to isolated half-ERE motifs. The ovalbumin promoter half-palindromic ERE motif located close to the TATA box was required for the activity of the distal DH3 ERE, but could be replaced by the binding sites of other transactivators.