The K14 keratin is an intermediate filament produced in squamous epithelia. This tissue-specific expression is directed by the promoter (pK14) of the K14 gene which has been used extensively to direct the expression of transgenes to the skin. Human K14 was cloned and the upstream sequence is presented. In transient transfections, pK14 directs expression of a luciferase reporter in keratinocytes much more potently than in breast cancer cells. © 1995.