The chemokine RANTES (regulated upon activation normal T cell expressed and secreted) is expressed "late" (3 to 5 days) after activation in T lymphocytes. In order to understand the molecular events that accompany changes in gene expression, a detailed analysis of the interplay between transcriptional machinery and chromatin on the RANTES promoter over time was undertaken. Kruppel-like factor 13 (KLF13), a sequence-specific DNA binding transcription factor, orchestrates the induction of RANTES expression in T lymphocytes by ordered recruitment of effector molecules, including Nemo-like kinase, p300/cyclic AMP response element binding protein (CBP), p300/CBP-associated factor, and Brahma-related gene 1, that initiate sequential changes in phosphorylation and acetylation of histones and ATP-dependent chromatin remodeling near the TATA box of the RANTES promoter. These events recruit RNA polymerase II to the RANTES promoter and are responsible for late expression of RANTES in T lymphocytes. Therefore, KLF13 is a key regulator of late RANTES expression in T lymphocytes.