cDNA selection was used to identify genes encoded by a 440-kb yeast artificial chromosome (YAC) clone that spanned from HLA-DRA to CYP21 in the HLA complex. An initially selected short cDNA was used to isolate a 2639-nucleotide, apparently full-length cDNA from a human tonsil library. This cDNA contained one extended open reading frame that predicted a protein of 700 amino acids with a basic region and a leucine zipper that is highly similar to members of the Creb/ATF subfamily. High-stringency Southern blotting of total human genomic DNA using this cDNA as the probe showed only a single locus that mapped to the selecting YAC clone. This gene, designated Creb-related protein (Creb-rp), is expressed ubiquitously and is evolutionarily conserved in mammals. It is located in the HLA Class III region 6-10 kb centromeric of the XB gene, which encodes a tenascin-like extracellular matrix protein. Homologous sequences are located in the Class II-Class III interval of the mouse H-2 complex. The amino acid sequence homology and general structural features of the predicted protein indicate that this gene encodes a general transcription factor belonging to the Creb/ATF subfamily of the bZip super-family.