The c-sis gene encodes the B polypeptide chain of plateletderived growth factor (PDGF), and is expressed in a number of normal and pathological conditions. In order to study the control of synthesis of the human c-sis product, we have initiated a study of two regions of this genetic locus which regulate transcription and translation. A clone of the 5' portion of the gene was obtained which included 1361 nucleotides upstream of the RNA initiation site. Transcriptional promoter activity of this region was demonstrated in normal and transformed cells using a plasmid with the sequences upstream of the c-sis RNA initiation site fused to an indicator gene, chloramphenicol acetyl transferase. Experiments were also performed to identify other possible regulatory regions of the c-sis gene. These data demonstrated that a portion of the c-sis first exon encoding the 5' untranslated region of the c-sis mRNA inhibited synthesis of the PDGF B product in vitro. These results define regions of the c-sis gene whose activity may be important in the regulation of transcription and translation under normal conditions and in the pathogenesis several human diseases.