A previously unidentified 120-kDa protein was detected in Streptococcus mutans strain Z1 and was involved in the cold-agglutination of the strain. We have identified the gene, designated cnm, as being involved in the agglutination of strain Z1 following random mutagenesis. The amino acid sequence of the deduced Cnm protein exhibited high similarity to those of collagen-binding adhesins from staphylococci and other organisms. To confirm whether the protein is involved in collagen-binding, we cloned a cnm gene fragment, overexpressed it in E.coli, and prepared crude extracts. The extracts containing recombinant protein exhibited binding to immobilized collagen and laminin but not to fibronectin. Compared with the parental strain Z1, the cold-agglutination-negative mutant 05A02 exhibited reduced binding to collagen and laminin but retained that to fibronectin. This gene was detected in some strains of S. mutans. Therefore, the cnm gene encoded a new strain-specific member of the collagen-binding adhesin family.