We have isolated two cDNA clones, NaPi-2 and NaPi-3, by screening rat kidney cortex and human kidney cortex cDNA libraries, respectively, for expression of sodium-dependent phosphate transport in Xenopus laevis oocytes. Substrate specificity and a detailed kinetic analysis (Na, Pi, H+ concentrations) suggested that expressed uptake activities relate to proximal tubular brush border membrane Na/Pi cotransport. NaPi-2 cDNA contains 2464 bp encoding a protein of 637 aa; NaPi-3 cDNA contains 2573 bp encoding a protein of 639 aa. NaPi-2- and NaPi-3-deduced protein sequences show high homology to each other but are different from the protein sequence deduced from the previously cloned NaPi-1 cDNA (from rabbit proximal tubules). Hydropathy profile predictions suggest at least eight membrane-spanning regions in NaPi-2/3-related proteins. In vitro translation results in proteins of the expected size and suggests glycosylation. Northern blot analysis shows corresponding mRNA species (approximately 2.7 kb) in kidney cortex of various species but no hybridization with RNAs isolated from a variety of other tissues (including intestinal segments); a hybridization signal (approximately 4.8 kb) was observed only in the lung (human). We conclude that we have structurally identified two closely related proteins most likely involved in human and rat renal brush border Na/Pi cotransport.