Cyp26A1 is a major enzyme that controls retinoic acid (RA) homeostasis by metabolizing RA into bio-inactive metabolites. Previous research revealed that the mouse Cyp26A1 promoter has two canonical RA response elements (RAREs) that underlie the regulation of the gene by RA. Analyzing the 2,533-base pairs (2.5 k) genomic sequence upstream of zebrafish cyp26a1 start codon, we report that the two RAREs are conserved in zebrafish cyp26a1 promoter. Mutagenesis demonstrated that the two RAREs work synergistically in RA inducibility of cyp26a1. Fusing the 2.5 k (kilobase pairs) fragment to the enhanced yellow fluorescent protein (eYFP) reporter gene, we have generated two transgenic lines of zebrafish [Tg(cyp26a1:eYFP)]. The transgenic zebrafish display expression patterns similar to that of cyp26a1 gene in vivo. Consistent with the in vitro results, the reporter activity is RA inducible in embryos. Taken together, our results demonstrate that the 2.5 k fragment underlies the regulation of the zebrafish cyp26a1 gene by RA. Developmental Dynamics 237:3798–3808, 2008. © 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.