A peptide of 27 amino acids, VDR(102-76), representing residues 76-102 immediately C-terminal to the second Zn finger of human vitamin D receptor (hVDR) was conjugated to fluorescein-labelled IgG using a bifunctional coupling reagent, m-maleimidobenzoyl n-hydroxysuccinimide. Upon microinjection into the cytoplasm of human osteosarcoma MG-63 cells, the chimeras accumulated in the nuclei. This transport was arrested by chilling or energy depletion. Two other peptides, VDR(80-67), spanning the N-terminal part of VDR(102-76), and VDR(108-97), spanning the C-terminal part of VDR(102-76), were not able to target the linked proteins to the nuclei. SV40(135-112), a peptide containing a well-characterized nuclear localization sequence (amino acids 112-135) of simian virus 40 (SV40) large T-antigen, caused complete nuclear accumulation under the same conditions. Wheat germ agglutinin, which inhibits SV40(135-112) transport, also inhibited the nuclear accumulation of VDR(102-76) as did energy depletion.