Using a cDNA library prepared from circumvallate papillae of rat tongue, we have identified, cloned, and sequenced a novel K+ channel, designated cdrk. The cdrk channel appears to be a member of the Shab subfamily, most closely resembling drk1. Electrophysiologic analysis of expressed cdrk channels reveals delayed rectifier properties similar to those of drk1 channels. Localizations of cdrk mRNA in rat brain and peripheral tissues, assessed by in situ hybridization and Northern blot analysis, differ from any other reported K+ channels. In the brain cdrk mRNA is most concentrated in granule cells of the olfactory bulb and cerebellum. In peripheral tissues, mRNAs for cdrk and drk1 are reciprocally localized, indicating that the K+ channel properties contributed by mammalian Shab homologs may be important in a variety of excitable tissues.