The DNA replication-related element binding factor (DREF) has been suggested as being involved in regulation of DNA replication- and proliferation-related genes in Drosophila. Recently, by searching the Drosophila genome database, we also found DRE-like sequences in the 5'-flanking regions of many genes with other functions. In addition, immunostaining of polytene chromosomes with an anti-DREF monoclonal antibody revealed that DREF can bind to a hundred regions of polytene chromosomes, suggesting regulation of multiple genes and multiple roles in vivo. When we over-expressed DREF protein or inverted repeat RNA of the DREF gene in wing imaginal discs using the GAL4-UAS targeted expression system in Drosophila, the results were veins of increased width and a loss of veins, respectively. With DREF over-expression, Rolled, a Drosophila MAPK homologue, was ectopically activated. Furthermore, half reduction of the D-raf gene dose suppressed this DREF-induced vein of increased width phenotype. In addition, when DREF transcripts were reduced by introducing double-stranded RNA of the DREF gene into S2 cells, the D-raf gene promoter activity was diminished to 4%. These data indicate that DREF is involved in regulation of vein formation through the activation of EGFR signalling in the Drosophila wing imaginal discs.