Taking advantage of the ongoing Dictyostelium genome sequencing project, we have assembled >73 kb of genomic DNA in 15 contigs harbouring 15 genes and one pseudogene of Rho-related proteins. Comparison with EST sequences revealed that every gene is interrupted by at least one and up to four introns. For racC extensive alternative splicing was identified. Northern blot analysis showed that mRNAs for racA, racE, racG, racH and racI were present at all stages of development, whereas racJ and racL were expressed only at late stages. Amino acid sequences have been analysed in the context of Rho-related proteins of other organisms. Rac1a/1b/1c, RacF1/F2 and to a lesser extent RacB and the GTPase domain of RacA can be grouped in the Rac subfamily. None of the additional Dictyostelium Rho-related proteins belongs to any of the well-defined subfamilies, like Rac, Cdc42 or Rho. RacD and RacA are unique in that they lack the prenylation motif characteristic of Rho proteins. RacD possesses a 50 residue C-terminal extension and RacA a 400 residue C-terminal extension that contains a proline-rich region, two BTB domains and a novel C-terminal domain. We have also identified homologues for RacA in Drosophila and mammals, thus defining a new subfamily of Rho proteins, RhoBTB.