We have identified a gene by microarray analysis that is located on chromosome 6 (c6orf32), whose expression is increased during human fetal myoblast differentiation. The protein encoded by c6orf32 is expressed both in myogenic and non-myogenic primary cells isolated from 18-week old human fetal skeletal muscle. Immunofluorescent staining indicated that C6ORF32 localizes to the cellular cytoskeleton and filopodia, and often displays polarized expression within the cell. mRNA knockdown experiments in the C2C12 murine myoblast cell line demonstrated that cells lacking c6orf32 exhibit a myogenic differentiation defect, characterized by a decrease in the expression of myogenin and myosin heavy chain (MHC) proteins, whereas MyoD1 was unaltered. In contrast, overexpression of c6orf32 in C2C12 or HEK293 cells (a non-muscle cell line) promoted formation of long membrane protrusions (filopodia). Analysis of serial deletion mutants demonstrated that amino acids 55-113 of C6ORF32 are likely involved in filopodia formation. These results indicate that C6ORF32 is a novel protein likely to play multiple functions, including promoting myogenic cell differentiation, cytoskeletal rearrangement and filopodia formation.