The deletion looping out model of switch (S) recombination predicts that the intervening DNA between switch regions will be excised as a circle. Circular excision products of immunoglobulin switch recombination have been recently isolated from lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated spleen cells. The recombination breakpoints in these large circles were found to fall within switch regions. Since switch recombination is clearly focused on switch regions, we hypothesized that some DNA-binding protein factor might be involved in specifically recognizing and facilitating the alignment of switch regions before recombination. Two DNA-binding proteins that specifically interact with two discrete regions of the S gamma 3 tandem repeat have been identified in crude and partially purified nuclear extracts derived from LPS- and dextran sulfate (DxS)-activated splenic B cells. The first factor has been found indistinguishable from NF-kappa B by mobility shift assays, methylation interference, competition binding studies, and supershift analysis using an antiserum specific for the p50 component. The second appears to be composed of two closely traveling mobilities that do not separate upon partial purification. This second complex is unique and specific for S gamma 3 by methylation interference assays and competition-binding analysis. The sites at which recombination occurs in the S gamma 3 switch region have been analyzed and found to strictly correlate with the binding sites of the S gamma 3 switch binding proteins.