Genetic data suggest that transposition of the maize element Activator (Ac) is modulated by host factors. Using gel retardation and DNase I protection assays we identified maize proteins which bind to seven subterminal sites in both ends of Ac. Four DNase I-protected sites contain a GGTAAA sequence, the other three include either GATAAA or GTTAAA. The specificity of the maize protein binding to Ac was verified by using a synthetic fragment containing four GGTAAA motifs as probe and competitor in gel retardation assays. All seven binding sites are located within regions required in cis for transposition. A maize protein binding site with the same sequence has previously been identified in the terminal inverted repeats of the maize Mutator element. Thus, the protein, that recognizes this sequence is a good candidate for a regulatory host factor for Ac transposition.