Mast cells contain a lot of mast cell-specific proteases. We have reported that the expression of mouse mast cell protease 6 (MMCP-6) is remarkably reduced in both cultured mast cells (CMCs) and skin mast cells of mi/mi mutant mice. In the present study, we found that the expression of MMCP-5 was reduced in CMCs but not in skin mast cells of mi/mi mice, and we compared the regulation mechanisms of MMCP-5 with those of MMCP-6. The mi locus encodes a member of the basic-helix-loop-helix-leucine zipper (bHLH-Zip) protein family of transcription factors (hereafter called MITF). The consensus sequence recognized and bound by bHLH-Zip transcription factors is CANNTG. The overexpression of the normal (+) MITF but not of mi-MITF normalized the poor expression of the MMCP-5 gene in mi/mi CMCs, indicating the involvement of +-MITF in transactivation of the MMCP-5 gene. Although +-MITF directly bound CANNTG motifs in the promoter region of the MMCP-6 gene and transactivated it, the binding of +-MITF to the CAGTTG motif in the promoter region of the MMCP-5 gene was not detectable. The +-MITF appeared to regulate the transactivation of the MMCP-5 gene indirectly. Moreover, addition of stem cell factor to the medium normalized the expression of the MMCP-5 but not of the MMCP-6 gene in mi/mi CMCs. Despite the significant reduction of both MMCP-5 and MMCP-6 expressions in mi/mi CMCs, their regulation mechanisms appeared to be different.