The validation of full-length cDNA represents a crucial step in gene identification and subsequent functional analysis. In searching for candidate genes for bipolar disorder on chromosome 18q21, a novel gene homologous to NEDD4 (Neural precursor cells expressed developmentally down-regulated) was identified using exon trapping and cDNA cloning. This novel gene is termed NEDD4L (Human Gene Nomenclature Committee symbol). Typical NEDD4 orthologues that contain a C2 (Ca(2+)/lipid-binding) and a HECT (Homologous to the E6-AP Carboxyl Terminus) ubiquitin-protein ligase domain, and multiple WW domains have been shown to regulate the epithelial sodium channel (ENaC). In mice, Nedd4 has two distinct isoforms termed Nedd4-1 that belongs to the typical NEDD4 class, and Nedd4-2 that is homologous to Nedd4-1 but lacks the C2 domain. NEDD4L contains the WW and HECT domains seen in the NEDD4 gene family, but lacks the C2 domain in the N-terminus. BLAST database search showed that the deduced polypeptide of NEDD4L has 97 and 62% sequence identity to mouse Nedd4-2 and human NEDD4, respectively. Multiple forms of transcripts of NEDD4L have been isolated, which differ in transcription start and termination sites together with the presence or absence of an alternative spliced exon. Northern blot analysis showed a 3.4 kb mRNA species was specifically expressed in heart and skeletal muscle, while a 3.2 kb band and/or an additional 3.6 kb band is seen in other tissues tested. Striking homology of NEDD4L to mouse Nedd4-2 suggests it is the human homologue of mouse Nedd4-2. Its position in a region of linkage for autosomal dominant orthostatic hypotensive disorder and its potential role in regulating ENaC make NEDD4L a candidate gene for this disorder.