Nuclear factor of activated T cells (NFAT) is a transcription factor that regulates expression of the cytokine interleukin-2 (IL-2) in activated T cells. The DNA-binding specificity of NFAT is conferred by NFATp, a phosphoprotein that is a target for the immunosuppressive compounds cyclosporin A and FK506. Here, the purification of NFATp from murine T cells and the isolation of a complementary DNA clone encoding NFATp are reported. A truncated form of NFATp, expressed as a recombinant protein in bacteria, binds specifically to the NFAT site of the murine IL-2 promoter and forms a transcriptionally active complex with recombinant protein fragment react with T cell NFATp. The molecular cloning of NFATp should allow detailed analysis of a T cell transcription factor that is central to initiation of the immune response.