Surfactant protein D (SP-D) plays roles in pulmonary host defense and surfactant homeostasis and is increased following lung injury. Because AP-1 proteins regulate cellular responses to diverse environmental stimuli, we hypothesized that the conserved AP-1 motif (at -109) and flanking sequences in the human SP-D promoter contribute to the regulation of SP-D expression. The AP-1 sequence specifically bound to fra-1, junD, and junB in H441 lung adenocarcinoma nuclear extracts, Mutagenesis of the AP-1 motif in a chloramphenicol acetyltransferase reporter construct containing 285 base pairs of upstream sequence nearly abolished promoter activity, and co-transfection of junD significantly increased wild type but not mutant promotet activity. The sequence immediately downstream of the AP-1 element contained a binding site for HNF-3 (FOXA), and simultaneous mutation of this site (fox-d) and an upstream FoxA binding site (-277, fox-u) caused a 4-fold reduction in chloramphenicol acetyltransferase activity. Immediately upstream of the AP-1-binding site, we identified a GT box-containing positive regulatory element. Despite finding regions of limited homology to the thyroid transcription factor 1-binding site, SP-D promoter activity did not require thyroid transcription factor 1. Thus, transcriptional regulation of SP-D gene expression involves complex interactions with ubiquitous and lineage-dependent factors consistent with more generalized roles in innate immunity.