In the yeasts Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Schizosaccharomyces pombe replication factor C (RF-C) plays key roles both in chromosomal DNA replication and in DNA replication checkpoint function. At the replication fork, the five-subunit RF-C complex functions to load the trimeric polymerase accessory factor PCNA onto DNA. PCNA then acts as a sliding clamp, tethering Pol delta to the DNA to maximise its processivity. Here we describe the cloning of the S. pombe rfc3+ gene, encoding a homologue of the S. cerevisiae Rfc3 and human hRFC36 proteins. The 1026 bp rfc3+ ORF is interrupted by five introns, ranging in size from 49 to 165 bp. The spliced ORF is predicted to encode a 342 amino-acid protein that is approximately 50% identical at the amino acid sequence level to the S. cerevisiae Rfc3 and human hRFC36 proteins. As expected, S. pombe rfc3+ is an essential gene, with rfc3delta cells being defective for DNA replication. Loss of rfc3+ function can be rescued by heterologous expression of either the S. cerevisiae Rfc3 or human hRFC36 proteins in S. pombe.