The restriction of immunoglobulin (Ig) expression to B lymphocytes is well established. However, several reports have confirmed that the Ig gene can be expressed in many non-B cancer cells and/or some normal cells. Our aim is to determine whether the Ig gene promoter can be activated in non-B cancer cells and to identify the regulatory mechanism for Ig gene expression. Our results show that the Ig promoter of VH4-59 was activated in several non-B cancer cell lines. Moreover, two novel positive regulatory elements, an enhancer-like element at −800 to −610 bp and a copromoter-like element at −610 to −300 bp, were identified in two epithelial cancer cell lines, HeLa S3 and HT-29. The octamer element (5′-ATGCAAAT-3′) located in the Ig promoter, a crucial element for B-cell-derived Ig gene transcription, was also very important for non-B-cell-derived Ig gene transcription. More importantly, we confirmed that octamer-related protein-1 (Oct-1), but not Oct-2, was a crucial transcriptional factor for Ig gene transcription due to its ability to bind to the octamer element of the Ig promoter in epithelial cancer cells. These results suggested the presence of a distinct regulatory mechanism for Ig gene expression in non-B cancer cells.