The human neurofilament (H) promoter contains multiple binding sites for nuclear proteins including a Proximal (Prox) site centered around the sequence GGTTGGACC and an adjacent pyrimidine (Pyr) tract site centered around the sequence CCCTCCTCCCC. Surprisingly binding to a probe containing the Prox/Pyr region of the NF(H) promoter was competed in gel shifts by an oligonucleotide containing only an Sp1 binding site (GGGGCGGGG). Supershift assays with a polyclonal anti-Sp1 antisera confirmed that Sp1 was part of the complex formed with the Prox/Pyr probe. However neither bacterially expressed Sp1 516C or vaccinia virus expressed full-length Sp1 778C bound to the Prox or Pyr sequences in DNase I footprints or gel shift assays. Gel shift competitions and supershift assays with probes containing either Prox or Pyr tract sites alone demonstrated targeting of Sp1 to the Prox binding site and identified a non-Sp1 containing complex which contains a Prox binding protein. Adding exogenous Sp1 to a HeLa nuclear extract enhanced the Sp1-containing complex but had no effect on the Prox complex. These studies show that Sp1 can be targeted to a non-Sp1 site in the human NF(H) promoter through protein/protein interactions with a distinct sequence specific DNA-binding protein.