The YAP1 and YAP2 genes encode yeast transcription factors of the c-jun family. We show that yeast mutants deleted for either the YAP1 or the YAP2 genes are hypersensitive to oxidants, particularly H2O2, and that these genes play a role in regulating the induction of the H2O2 adaptive stress response in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. They do not significantly affect the regulation of the superoxide adaptive stress response. The intrinsic resistance of stationary-phase and respiring yeast cells towards superoxide anions is unaffected by deletion of the YAP1 and YAP2 genes. However, resistance towards H2O2 under these conditions is significantly reduced. We show that expression of the yeast GSH1 gene (encoding gamma-glutamylcysteine synthetase) and the SSA1 gene (encoding an HSP70 isoform) are induced by oxidants. Unlike the SSA1 and thioredoxin (TRX2) genes, expression of the GSH1 gene is more strongly induced by superoxide anions than by H2O2. In the absence of added oxidants, transcription of the GSH1 gene is reduced in strains carrying the yap1 deletion. However, we show that Yap1 is not required for the superoxide anion-mediated induction of GSH1 gene expression. Furthermore, while the H2O2-mediated induction of SSA1 expression is shown to by YAP1 dependent, the heat-shock-mediated induction of the SSA1 gene does not require YAP1. We also present evidence to show that the YAP2 gene does not regulate the expression of the TRX2, SSA1 or GSH1 genes.