A cluster of at least six interferon-gamma (IFN gamma)-inducible genes designated Ifi201-204 and located on mouse chromosome 1 has recently been described. Here, we report a human IFN-gamma-inducible gene, IFI 16, which has nucleotide sequence similarity with portions of two of the mouse genes, Ifi202 and Ifi204. A full-length cDNA clone derived from IFI 16 [2.709 kilobases (kb)] contained a single open reading frame of 2.187 kb which encoded a putative polypeptide of 729 amino acids and a predicted non-glycosylated M(r) of 80020. IFI 16 mRNA was found to be constitutively expressed in lymphoid cells and in cell lines of both the T and B lineages. By contrast, the mRNA was not expressed by the cell lines HL-60, U937, and K562, which represent early stages of myeloid development, but was strongly inducible in HL-60 and U937 with IFN-gamma. The IFI 16 protein demonstrated a putative domain structure with patchy similarity to the proteins expressed from genes Ifi202 and Ifi204. The mouse and human proteins each contain two analogous approximately 200 amino acid domains which are imperfect copies, but IFI 16 demonstrated additional unique regions, including a Lys-rich N-terminal portion and a "spacer" region between the reiterated domains, analogous to spacer regions in the CD5 and CD8 alpha molecules. Using a panel of inter-species somatic cell hybrid cell lines, IFI 16 was localized to the chromosomal region 1q12----1qter, a region syntenic between mouse and man. DNA blotting indicated that, in contrast to the mouse, IFI 16 is present as a single copy gene in the human genome.