Three major satellite DNAs comprise 40–45% of the genome of Drosophila virilis. Since these satellites are not substrates for most restriction enzymes, we were able to digest D. virilis nuclei with HaeIII and micrococcal nuclease and isolate chromatin fractions containing variable levels of satellite DNA. Electrophoretic analysis of these chromatin fractions revealed that the level of the acid-soluble chromosomal protein, cp17.3, was directly related to the percentage of satellite DNA in chromatin. The correlation between cp17.3 and satellite DNA abundance suggests that cp17.3 is involved in the heterochromatic condensation of satellite DNAs. cp17.3 occurs at a frequency of one molecule per 10–20 nucleosomes. It is detected in an electrophoretically distinguishable class of mononucleosomes, provisionally identified as MN1uH2A, which contains ubiquitinated histone H2A (uH2a) but lacks histone H1. It is not detected in MN1, a second class of mononucleosomes, which lacks uH2A and H1. Since cp17.3 is correlated with satellite DNAs and present in nucleosome cores, it might be a histone variant specifically associated with satellite DNAs.