Alterations within human chromosomal region 11p15.5 are associated with the Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome (BWS) and predisposition to a variety of neoplasias, including Wilms' tumors (WTs), rhabdoid tumors and rhabdomyosarcomas. To identify candidate genes for 11p15. 5-related diseases we compared human genomic sequence with expressed sequence tag and protein databases from different organisms to discover evolutionarily conserved sequences. Herein we describe the identification and characterization of a novel human transcript related to a putative Caenorhabditis elegans protein and the trp (transient receptor potential) gene. The highest homologies are observed with the human TRPC7 and with melastatin 1 ( MLSN1 ), whose transcript is downregulated in metastatic melanomas. Other genes related to and interacting with the trp family include the Grc gene, which codes for a growth factor-regulated channel protein, and PKD1/PKD2, involved in polycystic kidney disease. The novel gene presented here (named MTR1 for MLSN1 - and TRP -related gene 1) resides between TSSC4 and KvLQT1. MTR1 is expressed as a 4.5 kb transcript in a variety of fetal and adult tissues. The putative open reading frame is encoded in 24 exons, one of which is alternatively spliced leading to two possible proteins of 872 or 1165 amino acids with several predicted membrane-spanning domains in both versions. MTR1 transcripts are present in a large proportion of WTs and rhabdomyosarcomas. RT-PCR analysis of somatic cell hybrids harboring a single human chromosome 11 demonstrated exclusive expression of MTR1 in cell lines carrying a paternal chromosome 11, indicating allele-specific inactivation of the maternal copy by genomic imprinting.