The subdivision of polytene chromosomes into bands and interbands suggests a structural chromatin organization that is related to the formation of functional domains of gene expression. We made use of the antibody Z4 to gain insight into this level of chromosomal structure, as the Z4 antibody mirrors this patterning by binding to an antigen that is present in most interbands. The Z4 gene encodes a protein with seven zinc fingers, it is essential for fly development and acts in a dose-dependent manner on the development of several tissues. Z4 mutants have a dose-sensitive effect on w(m4) position effect variegation with a haplo-suppressor and triplo-enhancer phenotype, suggesting Z4 to be involved in chromatin compaction. This assumption is further supported by the phenotype of Z4 mutant chromosomes, which show a loss of the band/interband pattern and are subject to an overall decompaction of chromosomal material. By co-immunoprecipitations we identified a novel chromo domain protein, which we named Chriz (Chromo domain protein interacting with Z4) as an interaction partner of Z4. Chriz localizes to interbands in a pattern that is identical to the Z4 pattern. These findings together with the result that Z4 binds directly to DNA in vitro strongly suggest that Z4 in conjunction with Chriz is intimately involved in the higher-order structuring of chromosomes.