A gene encoding a novel human 3', 5'-cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterase (PDE) was identified and characterized. PDE10A1 encodes a protein that is 779 amino acids in length. An incomplete cDNA for a second 5'-splice variant, PDE10A2, was isolated. The proteins encoded by the two variants share 766 amino acids in common. This common region includes an amino-terminal domain with partial homology to the cGMP-binding domains of PDE2, PDE5 and PDE6 as well as a carboxy-terminal region with homology to the catalytic regions of mammalian PDEs. Northern analysis revealed that PDE10A is widely expressed. The PDE10A gene was mapped to three yeast artificial chromosomes (YACs) that contain human DNA from chromosome 6q26-27. A recombinant protein corresponding to the 766 amino acid region common to PDE10A1 and PDE10A2 was expressed in yeast. It hydrolyzed both cAMP and cGMP. Inhibitors that are selective for other PDE families are poor inhibitors of PDE10A; however, PDE10A is inhibited by the non-specific PDE inhibitor, IBMX.