In many late-replicating euchromatic regions of salivary gland polytene chromosomes, DNA is underrepresented. A mutation in the SuUR gene suppresses underreplication and leads to normal levels of DNA polytenization in these regions. We identified the SuUR gene and determined its structure. In the SuUR mutant stock a 6-kb insertion was found in the fourth exon of the gene. A single SuUR transcript is present at all stages of Drosophila development and is most abundant in adult females and embryos. The SuUR gene encodes a protein of 962 amino acids whose putative sequence is similar to the N-terminal part of SNF2/SWI2 proteins. Staining of salivary gland polytene chromosomes with antibodies directed against the SuUR protein shows that the protein is localized mainly in late-replicating regions and in regions of intercalary and pericentric heterochromatin.