MCP72 is a mitochondrial hsp70 protein from the trypanosomatid Crithidia fasciculata. An MCP72 cDNA clone was isolated from a C. fasciculata cDNA library by screening with antiserum specific for the homologous protein of Trypanosoma cruzi . The MCP72 cDNA encodes a polypeptide of 663 amino acids which is 84% identical to the Trypanosoma cruzi protein and 56% identical to the Escherichia coli hsp70 protein DnaK. MCP72 is less similar to other hsp70 proteins. Native MCP72 was purified to homogeneity by ATP-agarose affinity chromatography. Comparison of its N-terminal amino acid sequence with that deduced from the cDNA sequence shows that 20 amino acid residues had been cleaved from the N-terminus; this sequence probably represents a mitochondrial import signal which is cleaved during translocation into the mitochondrion. Fluorescence microscopy, using antibodies specific for MCP72, indicates that the protein is concentrated in a region of the mitochondrial matrix which surrounds the kinetoplast.