IL-TIF is a new cytokine originally identified as a gene induced by IL-9 in murine T lymphocytes, and showing 22% amino acid identity with IL-10. Here, we report the sequence and organization of the mouse and human IL-TIF genes, which both consist of 6 exons spreading over approximately 6 Kb. The IL-TIF gene is a single copy gene in humans, and is located on chromosome 12q15, at 90 Kb from the IFN gamma gene, and at 27 Kb from the AK155 gene, which codes for another IL-10-related cytokine. In the mouse, the IL-TIF gene is located on chromosome 10, also in the same region as the IFN gamma gene. Although it is a single copy gene in BALB/c and DBA/2 mice, the IL-TIF gene is duplicated in other strains such as C57Bl/6, FVB and 129. The two copies, which show 98% nucleotide identity in the coding region, were named IL-TIF alpha and IL-TIF beta. Beside single nucleotide variations, they differ by a 658 nucleotide deletion in IL-TIF beta, including the first non-coding exon and 603 nucleotides from the promoter. A DNA fragment corresponding to this deletion was sufficient to confer IL-9-regulated expression of a luciferase reporter plasmid, suggesting that the IL-TIF beta gene is either differentially regulated, or not expressed at all.