Two overlapping cDNAs that encode a 197-kDa sequence-selective DNA-binding protein were isolated from libraries derived from mouse lymphoid cell mRNA. In addition to a DNA-binding domain, the protein contains both a chromodomain, which occurs in proteins that are implicated in chromatin compaction, and an SNF2/SWI2-like helicase domain, which occurs in proteins that are believed to activate transcription by counteracting the repressive effects of chromatin structure. A Southern blot analysis indicated that this protein, which we have named CHD-1, for chromodomain-helicase-DNA-binding protein, is present in most, if not all, mammalian species. A Northern blot analysis revealed multiple CHD mRNA components that differed both qualitatively and quantitatively among various cell types. The various mRNAs, which are probably produced by alternative RNA processing, could conceivably encode tissue-specific and developmental stage-specific isoforms of the protein. Based on its interesting combination of features, we suspect that CHD-1 plays an important role in gene regulation.