We recently described a new approach for the rapid characterization of expressed genes by partial DNA sequencing to generate 'expressed sequence tags'. From a set of 600 human brain complementary DNA clones, 348 were informative nuclear-encoded messenger RNAs. We have now partially sequenced 2,672 new, independent cDNA clones isolated from four human brain cDNA libraries to generate 2,375 expressed sequence tags to nuclear-encoded genes. These sequences, together with 348 brain expressed sequence tags from our previous study, comprise more than 2,500 new human genes and 870,769 base pairs of DNA sequence. These data represent an approximate doubling of the number of human genes identified by DNA sequencing and may represent as many as 5% of the genes in the human genome.