Members of the Puf family of RNA-binding proteins from Drosophila, Caenorhabditis elegans, and Dictyostelium are known to function as translational repressors. To identify mammalian proteins that might regulate posttranscriptional gene expression, we have characterized a novel murine Puf protein, PUM2. Pum2 transcripts were expressed in all murine tissues examined, suggesting the gene influences processes common to many cell types. Like all Puf family members, PUM2 contains a C-terminal RNA-binding domain related to the Drosophila Pumilio homology domain (PUM-HD). Two features found in the amino-terminus of PUM2, regions rich in serine and glutamine/alanine-rich regions, were also identified in most Puf family members. RNA sequences capable of binding with high affinity (6.5 nM) to a 48-kDa recombinant protein containing the PUM2 PUM-HD were isolated by using an iterative amplification-selection protocol (SELEX). The consensus sequence [UGUANAUARNNNNBBBBSCCS] of the PUM2 binding element (PBE) is related to, but distinct from, the 3' end of the Drosophila Nanos response element. The characterization of PUM2 and potential RNA-binding site will assist efforts to assess the extent and mechanism by which mammalian genes are regulated at a posttranscriptional level.