We analyzed epsilon-globin transcription in erythroid cells and in erythroid extracts to determine the requirements for enhancer-dependent expression of this gene. Mutations that abolished GATA-1 binding at a single position in the promoter prevented interaction with enhancers, whereas elimination of a second more distal promoter GATA-1 site had no effect. Deletion or mutation of the GATA-1 sites in either the human beta-globin locus control region DNase-hypersensitive site II enhancer or the chicken beta A/epsilon-globin enhancer did not diminish the ability of the enhancers to interact with the promoter. In contrast, mutation of the AP-1/NF-E2 sites in these enhancers resulted in elimination of enhancement. In vitro transcription of these constructs was promoter dependent and was not sensitive to abolition of GATA-1 binding in the promoter, consistent with the role of GATA-1 solely as a mediator of the enhancer effect. Thus, GATA-1 regulates the response of the epsilon-globin gene to enhancers through a specific site in the promoter and requires enhancer AP-1/NF-E2 binding to transduce the enhancer effect on transcription.