Metastin is encoded by a putative human metastasis suppressor gene KiSS-1, and is the cognate ligand of a G-protein-coupled receptor designated OT7T175. To study the physiological function(s) of metastin, we cloned rat and mouse KiSS-1 cDNAs both encoding 130-amino acid KiSS-1 proteins. Sequence analysis suggested that processing of the rat and mouse KiSS-1 proteins produces 52-amino-acid peptides, each with an amidated carboxyl terminal and with a single possible disulfide bond, corresponding to rat and mouse metastins. The carboxyl-terminal sequence of metastin, known to be essential for functional receptor interaction, was found to be highly conserved among humans and rodents. Real-time PCR analysis indicated that rat KiSS-1 mRNA showed the highest expression level in the cecum and colon. Since KiSS-1 mRNA and metastin are known to be abundant in human placenta, we further studied the localization of KiSS-1 and OT7T175 mRNAs in rat placenta by in situ hybridization. KiSS-1 and OT7T175 mRNAs were specifically detected in trophoblast giant cells at embryonic day 12.5, and the transcripts in the cells gradually decreased during placental maturation. These results suggest that metastin/OT7T175 signaling may participate in implantation of the mammalian embryo, placenta formation, and maintenance of pregnancy.