DnaJ-like proteins are functional partners for Hsp70 molecular chaperones. Complete nucleotide sequencing of yeast chromosome X has revealed that an open reading frame YJL073w encodes a novel member of the DnaJ-like protein family. The open reading frame represents a protein of 692 amino acids with a J-domain and one putative membrane-spanning segment. An epitope-tagged version of the protein was anchored in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membrane and its J-domain faced the ER lumen. We therefore propose to designate this gene JEM1 (DnaJ-like protein of the ER membrane) and to designate its gene product JEM1p. The JEM1 gene is not essential for cell growth, but double disruption of the JEM1 gene and the SCJ1 gene, which encodes another DnaJ-like protein in the ER lumen, causes growth arrest at elevated temperature. The Deltajem1 mutant is defective in nuclear fusion, karyogamy, during mating. A mutant JEM1p carrying a mutation in the highly conserved His-Pro-Asp sequence in the J-domain could not complement either temperature-sensitive growth of the Deltajem1 Deltascj1 double mutant or defects in karyogamy of the Deltajem1 mutant. JEM1p likely assists the functions of BiP, Hsp70 in the ER, including karyogamy.