The nonclassical histocompatibility class I gene HLA-G has a tissue-restricted expression. To explore mechanisms involved in HLA-G transcriptional regulation, we have investigated the effect of stress, including heat shock and arsenite treatment, on HLA-G expression in tumor cell lines. We show that stress induces an increase of the level of the different HLA-G alternative transcripts without affecting other MHC class I HLA-A, -B, -E, and -F transcripts. A heat shock element (HSE) that binds to heat shock factor 1 (HSF1) on stress conditions was further identified within the HLA-G promoter. Considering the ability of HLA-G to modulate the function of immunocompetent cells, we hypothesize a new feature of HLA-G as a signal regulating the immune response to stress.