In humans and rabbits, the TPT1 gene encoding the translationally controlled tumour protein TCTP generates two mRNAs (TCTP mRNA1 and TCTP mRNA2) which differ in the length of their 3' untranslated regions. The distribution of these mRNAs was investigated in 10 rabbit and 50 human tissues. They were transcribed in all tissues investigated, but differed considerably in their quantity and ratio of expression. This indicates an extensive transcriptional control and involvement of tissue-specific factors. In the rabbit genome numerous processed, intronless pseudogenes were detected. Four, corresponding to both types of mRNAs, were sequenced and analysed in detail; all displayed only few mutations and were either preserved completely in the original amino acid sequence of the intron containing gene, or contained only minor mutations in the coding region which did not interrupt the open reading frame. In the mRNA population of rabbit reticulocytes two additional TCTP RNAs of the TCTP mRNA2 type were detected, which have the characteristics of pseudogene transcripts. Pseudogene transcription was supported further by CAT reporter gene assays showing substantial promoter activity of 5'-flanking regions of two TPT1 pseudogenes.