Natural killer (NK) cells constitute the third major population of lymphocytes. They possess the inherent capacity to kill various tumor and virally infected cells and mediate the rejection of bone-marrow grafts in lethally irradiated animals. A large family of NK cell receptors belong to the C-type lectin superfamily and are localized to the NK gene complex on Chromosome (Chr) 6 in the mouse and Chr 12 in the human. Genes in the NK gene complex encode type II receptors and examples include the families of NKR-P1, Ly-49, and NKG2 receptors. Examples of other C-type lectin-like NK cell receptors that occur as individual genes are CD94, CD69, and AICL. Here we report the molecular characterization and chromosomal mapping of a human lectin-like transcript (LLT1) expressed on NK, T, and B cells and localized to the NK gene complex within 100 kilobases of CD69. The cDNA encodes a predicted protein of 191 amino acid residues with a transmembrane domain near the N-terminus and an extracellular domain of 132 amino acid residues with similarity to the carbohydrate recognition domain of C-type lectins. The predicted protein of LLT1 shows 59 and 56% similarity to AICL and CD69, respectively. The predicted protein does not contain any intracellular ITIM motifs, suggesting that LLT1 may be involved in mediating activation signals.