We analysed the activity of the proximal promoters of the alpha2 and alpha5 integrin genes in human keratinocytes. An AP-1 site, found in the alpha5 but not the alpha2 promoter, bound c-Jun/c-Fos dimers and contributed strongly to promoter activity. Both promoters had a CCAAT/enhancer binding protein (C/EBP) binding site: the alpha5 C/EBP element enhanced activity, while the alpha2 site was a negative regulatory element. C/EBP overexpression repressed the activity of both promoters, but the effect was independent of occupancy of the identified C/EBP binding sites, suggesting interactions with additional transcription factors. We propose that upregulation of C/EBPs contributes to the inhibition of integrin transcription during keratinocyte terminal differentiation, while AP-1 factors play a role in the selective induction of the alpha5 gene during wound healing.