Major histocompatibility complex (MHC) alleles have been recognized as genetic factors for developing systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). In the present study we analyzed whether a heat-shock protein gene (HSP70-2) is involved in determining susceptibility to develop SLE in a Mexican Mestizo population. A HSP70-2 Pst I polymorphism was detected by a restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis of polymerase chain reaction (PCR-RFLP) in 107 SLE patients and 158 healthy controls. No statistically significant differences were observed in the HSP70-2 allele distribution between patients and healthy controls. HLA-DR analysis showed an increased frequency of HLA-DR3 allele in the patients group (P < 0.05, OR = 2.26, EF = 6.0%). On the other hand, when we analyzed HSP70-2 polymorphism in relation to HLA-DR3 allele, we could only detect an increased frequency of AB genotype in the DR3 negative patients (pC < 0.05, RR = 2.6, EF = 11.3%). Linkage disequilibrium was observed for three haplotypes: HLA-DR3-HSP70-2A (D = 0.03, D' = 0.67, P < 0.01); HLA-DR1-HSP70-2A (D = 0.03, D' = 0.86, P < 0.01) and HLA-DR8-HSP70-2B (D = 0.02, D' = 0.46, P = 0.02). Our data indicate that HSP70-2 gene polymorphism as opposed to the other ethnic groups does not appear to be relevant in SLE susceptibility in Mexican patients and that the distribution of the different alleles depend on the frequency of HLA alleles associated with them.