The peptide hormone calcitonin induces the accumulation of urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA) mRNA in pig kidney LLC-PK1 cells. By itself, inhibition of protein synthesis had a negligible effect on uPA mRNA accumulation. Inhibition of protein synthesis led to two superinductive effects: an increase in calcitonin-induced uPA mRNA accumulation over time, and a shift in the dose-response curve so that lower calcitonin doses became more potent. To explain these two superinductive effects of protein-synthesis inhibition on calcitonin treatment, we demonstrated that the inhibition of protein synthesis increased both calcitonin-induced uPA-gene transcription and uPA-mRNA stability. Different protein-synthesis inhibitors had similar actions, arguing against the possibility that the results were attributable to an anomalous action of a particular inhibitor. The superinductive effects of protein-synthesis inhibition could not be mimicked when a tumour promoter, 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol 13-acetate (TPA), was used instead of calcitonin as an inducer. Calcitonin and TPA exert their effects through different pathways, suggesting a clue to the mechanism of superinduction. Although inhibition of protein synthesis has been reported to increase transcription and mRNA stability in a number of other systems, the one described here appeared unique in combining both effects in the context of hormonal regulation.