Porcine cells express endogenous retroviruses, some of which are infectious for human cells. To better understand the replication of these porcine endogenous retroviruses (PERVs) in cells of different types and animal species, we have performed studies of the long terminal repeat (LTR) region of known gammaretroviral isolates of PERV. Nucleotide sequence determination of the LTRs of PERV-NIH, PERV-C, PERV-A, and PERV-B revealed that the PERV-A and PERV-B LTRs are identical, whereas the PERV-NIH and PERV-C LTRs have significant sequence differences in the U3 region between each other and with the LTRs of PERV-A and PERV-B. Sequence analysis revealed a similar organization of basal promoter elements compared with other gammaretroviruses, including the presence of enhancer-like repeat elements. The sequences of the PERV-NIH and PERV-C repeat element are similar to that of the PERV-A and PERV-B element with some differences in the organization of these repeats. The sequence of the PERV enhancer-like repeat elements differs significantly from those of other known gammaretroviral enhancers. The transcriptional activities of the PERV-A, PERV-B, and PERV-C LTRs relative to each other were similar in different cell types of different animal species as determined by transient expression assays. On the other hand, the PERV-NIH LTR was considerably weaker in these cell types. The transcriptional activity of all PERV LTRs was considerably lower in porcine ST-IOWA cells than in cell lines from other species. Deletion mutant analysis of the LTR of a PERV-NIH isolate identified regions that transactivate or repress transcription depending on the cell type.