The myc family of genes contains five functional members. We describe the cloning of a new member of the myc family from rat genomic and cDNA libraries, designated B-myc. A fragment of cloned B-myc was used to map the corresponding rat locus by Southern blotting of DNA prepared from rat X mouse somatic cell hybrids. B-myc mapped to rat chromosome 3. We have previously mapped the c-myc to rat chromosome 7 (J. Sümegi, J. Spira, H. Bazin, J. Szpirer, G. Levan, and G. Klein, Nature [London] 306:497-498, 1983) and N-myc and L-myc to rat chromosomes 6 and 5, respectively (S. Ingvarsson, C. Asker, Z. Wirschubsky, J. Szpirer, G. Levan, G. Klein, and J. Sümegi, Somat. Cell Mol. Genet. 13:335-339, 1987). A partial sequence of B-myc had extensive sequence homology to the c-myc protein-coding region, and the detection of intron homology further indicated that these two genes are closely related. The DNA regions conserved among the myc family members, designated myc boxes, were highly conserved between c-myc and B-myc. A lower degree of homology was detected in other parts of the coding region in c-myc and B-myc not present in N-myc and L-myc. A 1.3-kilobase B-myc-specific mRNA was detected in most rat tissues, with the highest expression in the brain. This resembled the expression pattern of c-myc, although at different relative levels, and was in contrast to the more tissue-specific expression of N-myc and L-myc. B-myc was expressed at uniformly high levels in all fetal tissues and during subsequent postnatal development, in contrast to the stage-specific expression of c-myc.