Serine-arginine (SR)-rich proteins are believed to be important in mediating alternative pre-mRNA splicing. HRS/SRp40 expression is elevated in liver cell proliferation during development, regeneration, and oncogenesis. We tested whether HRS expression correlates with the appearance of alternatively spliced fibronectin transcripts during liver growth. HRS was highly expressed during the proliferative phase of liver development, correlating with expression of the fibronectin EIIIB alternative exon. In regenerating liver, HRS protein was induced in a time course consistent with the observed increase in fibronectin transcripts containing the EIIIB exon, particularly in nonparenchymal liver cells. Furthermore, in an in vivo assay, HRS, and not other SR proteins, directly mediated EIIIB exon inclusion in the fibronectin transcript. This alternative splicing was dependent on a purine-rich region within the EIIIB exon to which HRS specifically bound. We have established that HRS has the potential to contribute to the regulation of fibronectin pre-mRNA splicing during liver growth. Changes in fibronectin forms may be important in modifying liver architecture during the proliferative response, thus providing a potential mechanism by which SR proteins may participate in cellular growth control.