Genes which mediate odorant signal transduction are expressed at high levels in neurons of the olfactory epithelium. The molecular mechanism governing the restricted expression of these genes likely involves tissue-specific DNA binding proteins which coordinately activate transcription through sequence-specific interactions with olfactory promoter regions. We have identified binding sites for the olfactory neuron-specific transcription factor, Olf-1, in the sequences surrounding the transcriptional initiation site of five olfactory neuron-specific genes. The Olf-1 binding sites described define the consensus sequence YTCCCYRGGGAR. In addition, we have identified a second binding site, the U site, in the olfactory cyclic nucleotide gated channel and type III cyclase promoters, which binds factors present in all tissue examined. These experiments support a model in which expression of Olf-1 in the sensory neurons coordinately activates a set of olfactory neuron-specific genes. Furthermore, expression of a subset of these genes may be modulated by additional binding factors.