We have identified a fourth splice variant of the TGF beta-activated kinase (TAK1), called TAK1-d, and identified an error in the previously published TAK1-c sequence. Our data shows that the c and d variants encode proteins whose carboxyl ends differ markedly from those of variants a and b. Analysis of the human TAK1 gene sequence, located at 6q16.1-q16.3, shows that the coding sequence is organised in 17 exons. The four splice variants result from alternative splicing of exons 12 and 16, the reading frame of exon 17 being determined by the presence or absence of exon 16. Study of the relative levels of expression of the four splice variants showed significant variations between tissues. Our evidence suggests that the alternative splicing of the TAK1 mRNA may have important functional implications.