A full-length cDNA encoding bovine ribosomal protein L3 was isolated and sequenced. The deduced protein sequence comprises 403 amino acids and shows a high level of identity with the other known mammalian L3 proteins. Southern blot analysis of bovine genomic DNA suggests that the bovine genome contains at least 4 copies of the L3 gene. A single hybridisation band of about 1.3 kb is detectable by Northern blot analysis. Within the amino acid sequence, two potential nuclear targeting sequences were detected: one at the N-terminal end and the other, consisting in a bipartite motif (amino acids 341 to 358), present and not previously noticed also in the other known mammalian L3 proteins. A search on all the available mammalian ribosomal proteins revealed the presence of this bipartite motif in many of these proteins.