The RING3 gene maps in the class II region of the human major histocompatibility complex, at a CpG island distal of the HLA-DNA gene. RING3 cDNAs were obtained from a T cell cDNA library and the longest (4 kb) was sequenced. The sequence contained an open reading frame encoding a protein of 754 amino acids. A screen of protein databases revealed striking homology between the RING3 protein and the Drosophila female sterile homeotic gene (fsh) which is implicated in the establishment of segments in the early embryo. Partial sequence homology was also observed with some other proteins involved in cell cycle control (CCG1), cell division (ftsA) and regulation of cell growth (gamma interferons). This highly conserved gene may play an important role in human development. In addition, its location in the MHC class II region may be related to some HLA-associated diseases.