The c-Myc oncoprotein induces cell proliferation and transformation through its activity as a transcription factor. Uncovering the genes regulated by c-Myc is an essential step for understanding these processes. We recently isolated the tumor-associated membrane protein gene, Tmp, from a c- myc-induced mouse brain tumor. Here we show that Tmp is specifically highly expressed in mammary tumors and T-cell lymphomas which develop in c-myc transgenic mice, suggesting that Tmp expression is a general characteristic of c-Myc-induced tumors. In addition, TMp expression is induced upon serum stimulation of fibroblasts as shown in a time course closely correlated with c-myc expression. We have isolated the Tmp promoter region and identified a putative c-Myc binding element, CACGTG, located in the first intron of the gene. We show here that constructs containing the Tmp regulatory region fused to a reporter gene are activated by c-Myc through this CACGTG element and that the c-Myc-Max protein complex can bind to this element. Moreover, an inducible form of c-Myc, the MycER fusion protein, can activate the endogenous Tmp gene. We also show that Tmp-overexpressing fibroblasts induce rapidly growing tumors when injected into nude mice, suggesting that Tmp may possess a tumorigenic activity. Thus, TMP, a member of a novel family of membrane glycoproteins with a suggested role in cellular contact, is a c-Myc target and is possibly involved in c-Myc-induced transformation.