We report here the cloning and sequencing of matrin 3, an acidic internal matrix protein, from a rat insuloma cDNA library. The nucleotide sequence has a single open reading frame encoding a polypeptide of 845 amino acids. The Genbank and National Biomedical Research Foundation databases did not contain any sequences similar to that of matrin 3. The primary structure consists of 33% charged residues and is generally hydrophilic. The amino-terminal region (residues 1-120) is positively charged and contains a large number of amino acids with free hydroxyl groups (26 of the first 100 residues) as in the lamins and several non-lamin intermediate filament proteins. A highly acidic domain (approximately 170 amino acids) near the carboxyl terminus, in which 32% of the amino acid residues are acidic (Glu or Asp), is a characteristic found in other nuclear proteins (Earnshaw, W. C. (1987) J. Cell Biol. 105, 1479-1482). A putative nuclear targeting signal sequence (Ser-Lys-Lys-Lys-Leu-Lys-Lys-Val-Glu) is located in the middle of the highly acidic domain. The corresponding human deduced partial amino acid sequence is 96% identical to the rat sequence, indicating that matrin 3 is a highly conserved protein.