Myf-5, a member of the muscle regulatory factor family of transcription factors, plays an important role in the determination, development, and differentiation of the skeletal muscle. Factors that regulate the expression of myf-5 itself are not well understood. We show here that a T-box binding site in the Xenopus myf-5 promoter mediated the activation of myf-5 expression through specific interaction with nuclear proteins of gastrula embryos. The T-box binding site could be bound by and respond to T-box proteins. T-box genes could induce Xmyf-5. The results suggest that T-box proteins are involved in the specification of myogenic mesoderm and muscle development. © 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.