Proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA/cyclin) is a 36-kDa polypeptide present in the nuclei of mitotically active cells. It is known to be involved in DNA replication through an association with DNA polymerase delta. We examined the total content as well as the subcellular distribution of PCNA in the oocyte and the egg of Xenopus laevis by employing immunocytological staining and immunoblot analysis. While oocytes are not capable of replicating chromosomes, PCNA is abundant in the nucleus (about 65 ng per nucleus). The oocyte cytoplasm, on the other hand, does not contain a significant quantity of this protein. The amount of total PCNA does not change appreciably during oocyte maturation and the subsequent stages of egg cleavage. Thus, PCNA belongs to a class of proteins which are stockpiled during oogenesis in order to be utilized later for early embryogenesis.