Wounds in Drosophila and mouse embryos induce similar genetic pathways to repair epidermal barriers. However, the transcription factors that transduce wound signals to repair epidermal barriers are largely unknown. We characterize the transcriptional regulatory enhancers of 4 genes-Ddc, ple, msn, and kkv-that are rapidly activated in epidermal cells surrounding wounds in late Drosophila embryos and early larvae. These epidermal wound enhancers all contain evolutionarily conserved sequences matching binding sites for JUN/FOS and GRH transcription factors, but vary widely in trans- and cis-requirements for these inputs and their binding sites. We propose that the combination of GRH and FOS is part of an ancient wound-response pathway still used in vertebrates and invertebrates, but that other mechanisms have evolved that result in similar transcriptional output. A common, but largely untested assumption of bioinformatic analyses of gene regulatory networks is that transcription units activated in the same spatial and temporal patterns will require the same cis-regulatory codes. Our results indicate that this is an overly simplistic view.