The RING-finger is a unique zinc-chelating domain involved in mediating protein-protein interactions. The extensive sequence homology within the RING-finger domain allowed us to clone a novel member of the RING-finger family of genes. This cDNA clone, designated RNF5 (Ring-finger protein 5), contained an open reading frame of 540 nucleotides. Its predicted amino acid sequence revealed significant homology to a hypothetical protein encoded by Caenorhabditis elegans cosmid C16C10.7. The expression of RNF5 was detected in a variety of human tissues. The RNF5 gene was mapped by fluorescence in situ hybridization to chromosome 6p21.31. Radiation hybrid mapping further assigned RNF5 to a region proximal to the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) on chromosome 6. RNF5 is the third RING-finger gene identified in the region proximal to MHC raising the possibility that the RING-finger family of genes may exist as a cluster in this region.