Brain cytoplasmic 200 RNA (BC200 RNA), a neuron-specific non-coding RNA, is also highly expressed in a number of tumors of non-neuronal origin. However, the biosynthesis of BC200 RNA remains poorly understood. In this study, we show that the efficient transcription of BC200 RNA requires both internal and upstream promoter elements in cancer cells. The transcription complex seems to interact with a broad range of sequences within the upstream 100-bp region. The cellular levels and half-lives of BC200 RNA were found to differ across various cancer cell types, but there was no significant correlation between these parameters. Exogenously expressed BC200 RNA had a shorter half-life than that observed for the endogenous version in cancer cells, suggesting that BC200 RNA might be protected by some limiting factor(s) in cancer cells. Transient transfection experiments showed that the transcriptional activity of the exogenous BC200 RNA promoter element varied depending on the cancer cell type. However, the promoter activities together with the half-life data could not explain the differences in the levels of BC200 RNA among different cell types, suggesting that there is another level of transcriptional regulation beyond that detected by our transient transfection experiments.