cDNA clones encoding a novel protein (LUZP) with three leucine zipper motifs were first identified from a murine bone marrow cDNA library. After screening two additional cDNA libraries of activated peritoneal exudate cells, 32 positive clones were obtained from 1.3 x 10(7) phage plaques. Four overlapping clones constituting a total of 7399 bp were sequenced on both strands. The complete open reading frame of LUZP is 1067 amino acids. In addition to three leucine zipper motifs located at the NH2 terminus, there are three nuclear localization signals and a large number of putative Ser/Thr phosphorylation sites. Western blot analyses indicate that LUZP is predominantly expressed in brain, whereas immunocytochemistry data clearly reveal its presence in the nucleus of neurons. Interspecific backcross analyses have mapped Luzp to mouse chromosome 4 in proximity to Gpcr14. Comparative mapping data suggest that the human homolog of Luzp will map to human chromosome 1p36.