Genomic blot analysis raised the possibility that uncharacterized tryptase genes reside on chromosome 17 at the complex containing the three genes that encode mouse mast cell protease (mMCP) 6, mMCP-7, and transmembrane tryptase (mTMT). Probing of GenBank's expressed sequence tag data base with these three tryptase cDNAs resulted in the identification of an expressed sequence tag that encodes a portion of a novel mouse serine protease (now designated mouse tryptase 4 (mT4) because it is the fourth member of this family). 5'- and 3'-rapid amplification of cDNA ends approaches were carried out to deduce the nucleotide sequence of the full-length mT4 transcript. This information was then used to clone its approximately 5.0-kilobase pair gene. Chromosome mapping analysis of its gene, sequence analysis of its transcript, and comparative protein structure modeling of its translated product revealed that mT4 is a new member of the chromosome 17 family of mouse tryptases. mT4 is 40-44% identical to mMCP-6, mMCP-7, and mTMT, and this new serine protease has all of the structural features of a functional tryptase. Moreover, mT4 is enzymatically active when expressed in insect cells. Due to its 17-mer hydrophobic domain at its C terminus, mT4 is a membrane-anchored tryptase more analogous to mTMT than the other members of its family. As assessed by RNA blot, reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction, and/or in situ hybridization analysis, mT4 is expressed in interleukin-5-dependent mouse eosinophils, as well as in ovaries and testes. The observation that recombinant mT4 is preferentially retained in the endoplasmic reticulum of transiently transfected COS-7 cells suggests a convertase-like role for this integral membrane serine protease.