Expression of the trabecular meshwork inducible glucocorticoid response (TIGR) gene progressively increases from barely detectable levels to greater than 2% of total cellular mRNA over 10 days exposure of trabecular meshwork (TM) cells to dexamethasone. Cycloheximide blocked most of the TIGR mRNA induction, suggesting a requirement for ongoing protein synthesis. The genomic structure of TIGR (approximately 20 kilobases) consists of 3 exons, and a 5-kilobase promoter region that contains 13 predicted hormone response elements, including several glucocorticoid regulatory elements, and other potentially important regulatory motifs. TIGR cDNA encodes an olfactomedin-related glycoprotein of 504 amino acids with motifs for N- and O-linked glycosylation, glycosaminoglycan initiation, hyaluronic acid binding, and leucine zippers. Recombinant TIGR (rTIGR) showed oligomerization and specific binding to TM cells. Anti-rTIGR antibody detected multiple translational/post-translational forms of TIGR produced by the cells (including secreted 66 kDa/55 kDa glycoproteins/proteins in the media and 55 kDa cellular proteins), whereas Northern blot showed a single mRNA species. The findings suggest potential mechanisms by which TIGR could obstruct the aqueous humor fluid flow and participate in the pathogenesis of glaucoma.