Treatment of adenovirus-infected mouse S49 cells with cAMP analogs leads to the transcriptional induction of early viral genes. E1A proteins and cAMP work in synergy to activate several of these genes. We now demonstrate that the transcription factor AP-1 is modestly induced by cAMP in S49 cells and induced to significantly higher levels by cAMP in the presence of E1A proteins. Cytoplasmic levels of c-fos and junB mRNAs are rapidly increased by cAMP, and the induction is substantially stronger in the presence of E1A protein. The AP-1 activity binds efficiently to both AP-1 and activating transcription factor (ATF)/cAMP response element binding protein (CREB)-binding sites present in E1A-inducible promoters and presumably plays a role in the transcriptional activation of adenovirus genes by E1A proteins and cAMP.