Roughest (Rst) is a cell adhesion molecule of the immunoglobulin superfamily that has multiple and diverse functions during the development of Drosophila melanogaster. The pleiotropic action of Rst is reflected by its complex and dynamic expression during the development of Drosophila. By an enhancer detection screen, we previously identified several cis-regulatory modules that mediate specific expression of the roughest gene in Drosophila developmental processes. To identify trans-regulators of rst expression, we used the Gal4/UAS system to screen for factors that were sufficient to activate Rst expression when ectopically expressed. By this method we identified the transcription factors Single-minded, Pointed.P1, and Su(H)-VP16. Furthermore, we showed that these factors and, in addition, Dmef2 are able to ectopically activate rst expression via the previously described rst cis-regulatory modules. This fact and the use of mutant analysis allocates the action of the transcription factors to specific developmental contexts. In the case of Sim, we could show that it regulates rst expression in the embryonic midline, but not in the optic lobes. Mutagenesis of Sim consensus binding sites in the regulatory module required for rst expression in the embryonic midline, abolished rst expression; indicating that the regulation of rst by Sim is direct.