cDNAs encoding three Drosophila melanogaster MCM proteins, DmMCM3, DmMCM6 and DmMCM7, candidates of DNA replication-licensing factors, were cloned and sequenced. The deduced amino-acid sequences displayed 60, 59 and 68% identities with the respective Xenopus laevis homologues, XMCM3, XMCM6 and XMCM7. Six members of the D. melanogaster MCM family were found to share 31-36% identities in their amino-acid sequences, and to possess the five common domains carrying conserved amino-acid sequences as reported with X. laevis MCM proteins. DmMCM3, DmMCM6 and DmMCM7 genes were mapped to the 4F region on the X chromosome, the 6B region on the X chromosome and the 66E region on the third chromosome, respectively, by in situ hybridization. Contents of their mRNAs were proved to be high in unfertilized eggs and early embryos (0-4h after fertilization), then decrease gradually by the 12h time point, with only low levels detected at later stages of development except in adult females. This fluctuation pattern is similar to those of genes for proteins involved in DNA replication, such as DNA polymerase alpha and proliferating cell nuclear antigen, suggesting that expression of DmMCM genes is under the regulatory mechanism which regulates expression of other genes involved in DNA replication.