A 12 kb haplotype upstream of the key signaling protein gene, AKT1, has been associated with insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome (Devaney et al. 2010). The region contains the first exon and promoter sequences of AKT1, but also includes the complete transcript unit for a highly conserved yet uncharacterized zinc finger-containing protein (ZBTB42). One of the component SNPs of the 12 kb haplotype metabolic syndrome haplotype changes a conserved amino acid in the predicted ZBTB42 protein, increasing the potential significance of the ZBTB42 transcript unit for contributing to disease risk. Using RT-PCR of human and mouse cells, we verified that the two exon ZBTB42 was expressed and correctly spliced in human skeletal muscle, and murine C2C12 cells. Production of peptide antibodies showed the expected protein in human (47 kD) and mouse (49 kD) immunoblots, and murine tissue distribution showed strongest expression in muscle and ovary. Immunostaining showed nuclear localization of the ZBTB42 protein in human muscle. Confocal imaging analyses of murine muscle showed ZBTB42 distributed in the nucleoplasm, with particular enrichment in nuclei underlying the neuromuscular junctions. The genetic association data of metabolic syndrome, coupled with the molecular characterization of the ZBTB42 transcript unit and encoded protein presented here, suggests that ZBTB42 may be involved in metabolic syndrome phenotypes.