Cdx homeodomain transcription factors have multiple roles in early vertebrate development. Furthermore, mis-regulation of Cdx expression has been demonstrated in metaplasias and cancers of the gut epithelium. Given the importance of Cdx genes in development and disease, the mechanisms underlying their expression are of considerable interest. We report an analysis of the upstream regulatory regions from the amphibian Xenopus laevis Cdx4 gene. We show that a GFP reporter containing 2.8 kb upstream of the transcription start site is expressed in the posterior of transgenic embryos. Deletion analysis of the upstream sequence reveals that a 247-bp proximal promoter fragment will drive posterior expression in transgenic embryos. We show that 63 bp of upstream sequence, that includes a consensus site for POU-domain octamer-binding proteins, retains significant promoter activity. Co-expression of the octamer-binding protein Oct1 induces expression from a Cdx4 reporter and mutation of the octamer site abolishes activity of the same reporter. We show that the octamer site is highly conserved in the promoters of the human, mouse, chicken, and zebrafish Cdx4 genes and within the promoters of amphibian Cdx1 and Cdx2. These data suggest a conserved function for octamer-binding proteins in the regulation of Cdx family members.