We have discovered a family of small secreted proteins in Homo sapiens and Mus musculus using a novel database searching strategy. The family is composed of five highly homologous genes referred to as TAFA-1 to -5. The TAFA genes encode proteins of approximately 100 amino acids that contain conserved cysteine residues at fixed positions. TAFA-1 to -4 are more closely related to each other than to TAFA-5, in which a conserved motif including CC in TAFA-1 to -4 is not present. In H. sapiens, TAFA-3 has two isoforms formed by alternative splicing. Sequence homology analyses reveal that TAFA proteins appear distantly related to MIP-1alpha, a member of the CC-chemokine family. TAFA mRNAs are highly expressed in specific brain regions, with little expression seen in other tissues.