A transcriptional enhancer which has a consensus binding sequence for transcription enhancer factor-1 (TEF-1) has been found 3′ of the hPL3 gene. We examined whether TEF-1 is expressed by the human placenta and whether such expression is co-ordinated with that of human placental lactogen (hPL). Probing Northern blots of total RNA from first trimester and term placenta, the choriocarcinoma-derived cell line JAr and primary cultured cytotrophoblast cells with a cDNA for TEF-1 revealed transcripts of 12–13 kb and 3–4 kb. The level of TEF-1 expression was the same in first trimester as compared with term placenta and in undifferentiated JAr as compared with differentiated cytotrophoblast cells. hPL expression was tenfold higher in term compared with first trimester placenta and, whilst detectable in cytotrophoblast cells, was undetectable in JAr cells. These data show that TEF-1 is expressed by the placenta but is not co-ordinated with hPL expression.