We describe a novel imprinted gene, gamma 2-COP (nonclathrincoatprotein), identified in a search for expressed sequences in human chromosome 7q32 where the paternally expressed MEST gene is located. gamma 2-COP contains 24 exons and spans >50 kb of genomic DNA. Like MEST, gamma 2-COP is ubiquitously transcribed in fetal and adult tissues. In fetal tissues, including skeletal muscle, skin, kidney, adrenal, placenta, intestine, lung, chorionic plate and amnion, gamma 2-COP is imprinted and expressed from the paternal allele. In contrast to the monoallelic expression observed in these fetal tissues, biallelic expression was evident in fetal brain and liver and in adult peripheral blood. Biallelic expression in blood is supported by the demonstration of gamma 2-COP transcripts in lymphoblastoid cell lines with maternal uniparental disomy 7. Absence of paternal gamma 2-COP transcripts during embryonic development may contribute to Silver-Russell syndrome. However, on mutation scanning the only gamma 2-COP mutation detected was maternally derived. Amino acid comparison of gamma2-COP protein revealed close relation to gamma-COP, a subunit of the coatomer complex COPI, suggesting a role of gamma2-COP in cellular vesicle traffic. The existence of distinct coatomer complexes could be the basis for the functional heterogeneity of COPI vesicles in retrograde and anterograde transport and/or in cargo selection. Together, gamma 2-COP and MEST constitute a novel imprinting cluster in the human genome that may contain other, as yet unknown, imprinted genes.