B16-F10 and B16-BL6 are B16 mouse melanoma sublines that preferentially metastasize to the lung following i.v. and s.c. injections, respectively. To study molecular mechanisms underlying the different metastatic behaviors exhibited by the B16 melanoma sublines, we performed differential hybridization of the genes transcribed in these cells and compared their expression levels. We isolated four genes that were highly expressed in B16-F10 cells but not in B16-BL6 cells: TI-225 (polyubiquitin), TI-229 (pyruvate kinase), TI-241 (LRF-1 homologue), and TI-227 (novel gene). Triosephosphate isomerase, 10-formyltetrahydrofolate dehydrogenase, tyrosinase-related protein 2, cytochrome c oxidase, ATP synthetase alpha subunit, RNA helicase, and ribosomal protein (L37, J1, acidic phosphoprotein), however, showed higher expression in B16-BL6 cells than in B16-F10 cells. Among these clones, transfection of TI-241 into the low metastatic clone F1 converted the parental cells from low- into high-metastatic cells. TI-241 may regulate the expression of various genes as a transcription factor in the complex process of metastasis.