Amplification of several chromosomal regions have been observed in human breast carcinomas. One such region, 8p11, is amplified in 10-15% of tumor samples. Although the FGFR1 gene is located close to this region, and is often included within the amplicon, the observation that tumors exhibiting 8p11 amplification do not always overexpress FGFR1 suggests that another gene located close to FGFR1 is involved in the tumorigenic process. We now report the precise location of four expressed sequence tags (ESTs) within this region and the cloning of a novel gene, designated TACC1 (transforming acidic coiled coil gene 1), which encodes an 8 kb transcript and which is expressed at high levels during early embryogenesis. Constitutive expression of this gene under the control of the cytomegalovirus (CMV) promoter in mouse fibroblasts, results in cellular transformation and anchorage independent growth, suggesting that inappropriate expression can impart a proliferative advantage. This observation raises the possibility that amplification of TACC1 could promote malignant growth, thereby making TACC1 an attractive candidate for the gene promoting tumorigenicity as a result of the 8p11 amplification in human breast cancers.