A novel guanosine triphosphate-binding protein, chronic renal failure gene (CRFG), was discovered by differential display PCR to be regulated differentially in renal disease. Within the rat kidney, CRFG mRNA was localized to the outer medulla and was highly expressed in epithelial cells. The specific renal expression of CRFG mRNA in the outer medulla was reduced dramatically in several rat models of renal disease, including diabetic nephropathy, partial nephrectomy, ischemia, and anti-Thy1.1-induced nephritis. CRFG was localized selectively in the nucleus of human and rodent cells, as determined by immunocytochemistry and green fluorescence fusion protein. Cellular mRNA levels of CRFG were also increased after serum administration, when cells proliferate. These data suggest that CRFG may be involved in regulating guanosine triphosphate-dependent nuclear events that are associated with cell proliferation and that are important in normal renal function and essential for growth and development.