Two novel KRAB (Krüppel associated box) type zinc finger protein encoding cDNAs, named Kzf1 and Kzf2 (Kzf for KRAB zinc finger), were identified by screening of a rat embryonic brain cDNA library with a human ZNF91 KRAB probe. Kzf1 and Kzf2 encode proteins with an amino-terminal KRAB domain and a carboxy-terminal zinc finger cluster containing 9 and 13 zinc finger units, respectively. While Kzf2 appears to be ubiquitously expressed, Kzf1 is preferentially expressed in the testis. Within the testis, Kzf1 mRNA is restricted to germ cells. The Kzf1 protein exhibits DNA binding activity and its KRAB domain can function as a repressor module in transcription. Using somatic cell hybrid analysis, the Kzf1 gene was mapped to chromosome 6.