In adult mouse skeletal muscle, beta-myosin heavy chain (betaMyHC) gene expression is primarily restricted to slow type I fibers; however, its expression can be induced in fast type II fibers in response to a sustained increase in load-bearing work (mechanical overload [MOV]). Our previous betaMyHC transgenic and protein-DNA interaction studies have identified an A/T-rich element (betaA/T-rich -269/-258) that is required for slow muscle expression and which potentiates MOV responsiveness of a 293-bp betaMyHC promoter (beta293wt). Despite the GATA/MEF2-like homology of this element, we found binding of two unknown proteins that were antigenically distinct from GATA and MEF2 isoforms. By using the betaA/T-rich element as bait in a yeast one-hybrid screen of an MOV-plantaris cDNA library, we identified nominal transcription enhancer factor 1 (NTEF-1) as the specific betaA/T-rich binding factor. Electrophoretic mobility shift assay analysis confirmed that NTEF-1 represents the enriched binding activity obtained only when the betaA/T-rich element is reacted with MOV-plantaris nuclear extract. Moreover, we show that TEF proteins bind MEF2 elements located in the control region of a select set of muscle genes. In transient-coexpression assays using mouse C2C12 myotubes, TEF proteins transcriptionally activated a 293-bp betaMyHC promoter devoid of any muscle CAT (MCAT) sites, as well as a minimal thymidine kinase promoter-luciferase reporter gene driven by three tandem copies of the desmin MEF2 or palindromic Mt elements or four tandem betaA/T-rich elements. These novel findings suggest that in addition to exerting a regulatory effect by binding MCAT elements, TEF proteins likely contribute to regulation of skeletal, cardiac, and smooth muscle gene networks by binding select A/T-rich and MEF2 elements under basal and hypertrophic conditions.