The cDNA for a widely distributed neuroendocrine protein called 7B2 has been cloned from beta cell tumors of transgenic mice and sequenced. As deduced from the cDNA sequence, 7B2 is a secretory protein of 186 amino acids, nearly identical to its human and porcine homologs. The presence of several pairs of basic residues in the carboxyl terminal portion of the protein suggests that 7B2 can undergo proteolytic maturation in secretory granules and thus generate potential bioactive peptides. 7B2 mRNA is about 1.5 kilobase long and is apparently transcribed from a single gene per haploid genome. The use of tissue-specific promoters to express oncogenes in rare cell types of transgenic mice is a powerful tool for immortalization and expansion of these cells, and it facilitates the isolation and the study of rare proteins such as 7B2.