Variations in glucuronidation activities among different individuals have been reported; however, genetic polymorphisms in the genes encoding phase II drug metabolizing UDP-glucuronosyltransferases have not been studied extensively. A novel UGT2B cDNA clone UGT2B4(E458) was isolated from human prostate and LNCaP cell cDNA libraries. The cDNA encoding UGT2B4(E458) is 2097 bp in length and has an open reading frame of 1584 nucleotides encoding a protein of 528 amino acids. Characterization of the UGT2B4(E458) cDNA revealed nucleotide differences with the previously published UGT2B4 and UGT2B11 cDNAs. These variations in the UGT2B4 sequence lead to an amino acid change from aspartic acid to glutamic acid at position 458. In the previous UGT2B11 cDNA (which has subsequently been renamed UGT2B4 (L109,396, D458)), leucine residues are found at positions 109 and 396, whereas phenylalanines are present at these positions in the UGT2B4(D458) and UGT2B4(E458) enzymes. Analysing the genomic DNA of 26 unrelated Caucasian individuals demonstrated the presence of variant alleles encoding UGT2B4(D458) and UGT2B4(E458). Stable expression of UGT2B4(E458) cDNA in HK293 cells demonstrates the presence of a 52 kDa protein, which is in agreement with other characterized (UGT2B proteins. UGT2B4(E458) conjugates hyodeoxycholic acid (HDCA) as well as 4-hydroxyestrone (4-OH-E1), androstane-3alpha,17beta-diol (3alpha-diol) and androsterone (ADT). Specific reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction analysis revealed expression of UGT2B4(D458) and UGT2B4(E458) transcripts in a wide range of extrahepatic tissues, including the liver, kidney, testis, mammary gland, prostate, placenta, adipose, adrenal, skin and lung. Our results suggest that UGT2B4(E458) and UGT2B(E458) are two widely expressed isoenzymes, and that polymorphism in the UGT2B4 gene might be responsible for differences in UGT2B4 enzymatic properties.