Metalloproteinase-disintegrins (ADAMs) are membrane-spanning multi-domain proteins containing a zinc metalloproteinase domain and a disintegrin domain which may serve as an integrin ligand. Based on a conserved sequence within the disintegrin domain, GE(E/Q)CDCG, seven genes were isolated from a human genomic library. Two of these genes lack introns and show testis-specific expression (ADAM20 and ADAM21), while the other two genes contain introns (ADAM22 and ADAM23) and are expressed predominantly in the brain. In addition, three pseudogenes were isolated; one of which evolved from ADAM21. Human chromosomal mapping indicated that ADAM22 and ADAM23 mapped to chromosome 7q21 and 2q33, respectively, while the three pseudogenes 1-2, 3-3, and 1-32 mapped to chromosome 14q24.1, 8p23, and 14q24.1, respectively. An ancestral analysis of all known ADAMs indicates that the zinc-binding motif in the catalytic domain arose once in a common ancestor and was lost by those members lacking this motif.