Transcriptional activation of eullaryotic genes depends on the precise and ordered recruitment of activators, chromatin modifiers/remodelers, coactivators, and general transcription factors to the promoters of target genes. Using the human matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP-9) gene as a model system, we investigated the sequential assembly and dynamic formation of transcription complexes on a human promoter under the influence of mitogen signaling. We find that, coincident with activation of the MMP-9 gene, activators, chromatin remodeling complexes, and coactivators are recruited to the preassembled MMP-9 promoter in a stepwise and coordinated order, which is dependent on activation of MEK-1/extracellular signal-regulated kinase and NF-κB signaling pathways. Conversely, corepressor complexes are released from the MMP-9 promoter after transcriptional activation. Histone modifications shift from repressive to permissive modifications concurrent with activation of the MMP-9 gene. Chromatin remodeling induced by Brg-1 is required for MMP-9 gene transcription, which is concomitant with initiation of transcription. Therefore, coordination of cell signaling, chromatin remodeling, histone modifications, and stepwise recruitment of transcription regulators is critical to precisely regulate MMP-9 gene transcription in a temporally and spatially dependent manner. Given the important role of MMP-9 in both normal development and pathological conditions, understanding MMP-9 gene regulation is of great relevance.