Degenerate PCR was employed to identify novel tyrosine kinase genes from an enriched population of human umbilical cord blood hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells. One novel tyrosine kinase gene, designated Tnk1, was cloned. The sequence of the complete Tnk1 coding region predicts a 72 kD protein. Comparison of Tnk1 to available sequences in protein databases reveals that it is most homologous to Ack, an intracellular tyrosine kinase which associates with the GTP-bound form of p21cdc42Hs. Like Ack, Tnk1 consists of an N-terminal kinase domain, a putative SH3 domain immediately C-terminal to the kinase domain, and a proline-rich C-terminal region. Analysis of Tnk1 mRNA expression demonstrates that Tnk1 is expressed in all cord blood, bone marrow and adult blood sub-populations, as well as in most of the leukemia cell lines examined (16 of 20). Hybridization to fetal multi-tissue Northern blots detected several different Tnk1 transcripts in all fetal tissues examined. In contrast, a single Tnk1 transcript was detected in only five of 16 adult tissues examined (prostate, testis, ovary, small intestine and colon). Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) analysis of metaphase chromosomes localized the Tnk1 gene to the short arm of chromosome 17 (17p13.1), near the p53 locus. Thus, Tnk1 is a novel tyrosine kinase that may be involved in signalling pathways utilized broadly during fetal development, more selectively in adult tissues and in cell of the lymphohematopoietic system.