To date, three functional domains have been defined in c-Fos and v-Fos proteins and have been shown to play a role in transactivation: the leucine zipper mediating hetero-dimerization, the basic DNA contact site, and a C-terminally located transactivation domain (C-TA) harbouring the HOB1 and HOB2 motifs. While the bZip region, consisting of the leucine zipper and the DNA contact site, is indispensable for transformation, the C-TA domain is not required and is actually altered by internal deletions in the FBR-MuSV. We now show that the N-terminal regions of c-Fos and v-Fos contain a second transactivation domain (N-TA). A functionally crucial motif within the N-TA domain, termed NTM, was pinpointed to a approximately 25 amino acid stretch around positions 60-84 which is highly conserved in FosB. Analysis of LexA fusion proteins showed that the N-TA domains of both c-Fos and FosB function in an autonomous fashion in both fibroblasts and yeast. Most importantly, deletion of the NTM motif impairs the transforming properties of v-Fos. Apart from the bZip region, the N-TA domain is the only functional domain required for transformation by v-Fos, at least when its expression is driven by the strong FBR-MuSV-LTR promoter.