Specific resistance of Mx+ mice to influenza virus is due to the interferon (IFN)-induced protein Mx. The Mx gene consists of 14 exons that are spread over at least 55 kilobase pairs of DNA. Surprisingly, the Mx gene promoter is induced as efficiently by Newcastle disease virus as it is by IFN. The 5' boundary of the region required for maximal induction by both IFN and Newcastle disease virus is located about 140 base pairs upstream of the cap site. This region contains five elements of the type GAAANN, which occurs in all IFN- and virus-inducible promoters. The consensus sequence purine-GAAAN(N/-)GAAA(C/G)-pyrimidine is found in all IFN-inducible promoters.