The Wnt genes, encoding structurally-related secreted glycoproteins, are implicated in mammary carcinogenesis induced by mouse mammary tumor virus. In search of the Wnt gene(s) expressed in human gastric cancer, a WTGC1 cDNA fragment sharing 66.9% amino-acid homology with human and mouse Wnt-2 was isolated by degenerate polymerase chain reaction. The human gene corresponding to WTGC1 was designated as Wnt-13 and overlapping Wnt-13 cDNAs were cloned. Nucleotide sequence analysis indicated that the Wnt-13 gene encodes the protein of 372 amino acids, including a signal peptide, two potential N-glycosylation sites and 24 cystein residues highly conserved among members of the Wnt gene family. The Wnt-13 mRNA of 2.5 kb in size was detected in heart, brain, placenta, lung, prostate, testis, ovary, small intestine and colon of adult human and also in brain, lung and kidney of fetal human. Among various cancer cell lines, the Wnt-13 mRNA was detected in HeLa (cervical cancer), MKN28 and MKN74 (gastric cancer). The Wnt-13 gene has been mapped to human chromosome 1p13. These results suggest that the Wnt-13 gene may be involved in normal human development or differentiation as well as in human carcinogenesis.