In the process of seeking sterol regulatory element-binding protein 1a (SREBP-1a) target genes, we identified and cloned a cDNA clone encoding mouse Delta(5)-desaturase (D5D). The hepatic expression of D5D as well as Delta(6)-desaturase (D6D) was highly activated in transgenic mice overexpressing nuclear SREBP-1a, -1c, and -2. Disruption of the SREBP-1 gene significantly reduced the expression of both desaturases in the livers of SREBP-1-deficient mice refed after fasting. The hepatic expression of both desaturases was downregulated by dietary PUFA, which were reported to suppress SREBP-1c gene expression. Sustained expression of hepatic nuclear SREBP-1c protein in the transgenic mice abolished the PUFA suppression of both desaturases. Although these data suggested that SREBP-1c regulates D5D and D6D expression, there was no difference in either the D5D or D6D mRNA level between fasted and refed normal mouse livers, indicating a mechanism for fasting induction of both desaturases. Administration of fibrate, a pharmacological ligand for peroxisome proliferator activating receptor alpha (PPARalpha), caused a significant increase in expression of both desaturases. The data suggested that D5D and D6D expression is dually regulated by SREBP-1c and PPARalpha, two reciprocal transcription factors for fatty acid metabolism, and could be involved in lipogenic gene regulation by producing PUFA.