The c-fos serum response element (SRE) forms a ternary complex with the transcription factors SRF (serum response factor) and TCF (ternary complex factor). By itself, SRF can mediate transcriptional activation induced by serum, lysophosphatidic acid, or intracellular activation of heterotrimeric G proteins. Activated forms of the Rho family GTPases RhoA, Rac1, and CDC42Hs also activate transcription via SRF and act synergistically at the SRE with signals that activate TCF. Functional Rho is required for signaling to SRF by several stimuli, but not by activated CDC42Hs or Rac1. Activation of the SRF-linked signaling pathway does not correlate with activation of the MAP kinases ERK, SAPK/JNK, or MPK2/p38. Functional Rho is required for regulated activity of the c-fos promoter. These results establish SRF as a nuclear target of a novel Rho-mediated signaling pathway.