The Drosophila Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) gene basket (bsk) promoter contains a DNA replication-related element (DRE)-like sequence, raising the possibility of regulation by the DNA replication-related element-binding factor (DREF). Chromatin immunoprecipitation assays with anti-DREF IgG showed the bsk gene promoter region to be effectively amplified. Luciferase transient expression assays revealed the DRE-like sequence to be important for bsk gene promoter activity, and knockdown of DREF decreased the bsk mRNA level and the bsk gene promoter activity. Furthermore, knockdown of DREF in the notum compartment of wing discs by pannier-GAL4 and UAS-DREFIR resulted in a split thorax phenotype. Monitoring of JNK activity in the wing disc by LacZ expression in a puckered (puc)-LacZ enhancer trap line revealed the reduction in DREF knockdown clones. These findings indicate that DREF is involved in regulation of Drosophila thorax development via actions on the JNK pathway.