Molecular mechanisms for both morphogenesis and carcinogenesis have frequently overlapped, and similar signaling pathways are often involved in these processes. Yamamoto et al. identified a novel protein that induces head formation in Xenopus (Yamamoto et al. Cell, 120, 223-225, 2005). This new protein, named Shisa, plays unique roles in head formation by suppressing the maturation processes of receptors for Wnt and FGF at the endoplasmic reticulum. Here, we have identified a human homologue of the shisa gene (hu-shisa-2), and analyzed its expression in various human cancer cell lines by real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. High levels of mRNA expression were observed in some neuroectoderm-derived human cancer cell lines and small cell lung cancer cell lines. Intracellular localization of hu-Shisa-2 protein was also analyzed, indicating that it is present in the endoplasmic reticulum. Over-expression of hu-Shisa-2 resulted in increased cell growth and invasion, suggesting that hu-Shisa-2 is involved in the evolution and/or progression of human cancers.