A lambda gt11 cDNA library of chicken embryo fibroblasts was screened with biotinylated Jun protein to identify Jun-binding clones. Eight such clones were isolated; one contains a gene referred to as jif-1 that is homologous to the putative tumor suppressor gene QM. jif-1 codes for a protein of 25 kDa that binds to the leucine zipper of viral and cellular Jun. The Jif-1 protein also binds to itself. Jif-1 does not contain a leucine zipper, and it does not bind to the 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol 13-acetate response element DNA sequence. Complex formation of Jif-1 with Jun inhibits DNA binding and reduces transactivation by Jun. Addition of Fos protein to Jun-Jif-1 complexes restores DNA-binding activity. These observations suggest that Jif-1 is a negative regulator of Jun.