Recent biochemical and genetic studies indicate that in addition to the octamer-binding proteins Oct-1 and Oct-2, other B cell components are required for lymphoid-restricted, octamer site-mediated immunoglobulin gene promoter activity. Using a genetic screen in yeast, we have isolated B cell-derived cDNAs encoding Oct-binding factor 1 (OBF-1), a novel protein that specifically associates with Oct-1 and Oct-2. Biochemical studies demonstrate that OBF-1 has no intrinsic DNA-binding activity and recognizes the POU domains of Oct-1 and Oct-2, but not those of Oct-4 and Oct-6. The OBF-1 mRNA is expressed in a highly cell-specific manner, being most abundant in B cells and essentially absent in most of the other cells or tissues tested. Furthermore, expression of OBF-1 in HeLa cells selectively stimulates the activity of a natural immunoglobulin promoter in an octamer site-dependent manner. Thus, OBF-1 has all the properties expected for a B cell-specific transcriptional coactivator protein.