Subtraction hybridization using a cDNA library prepared from temporally spaced mRNAs from human melanoma cells treated with recombinant human fibroblast interferon (IFN-beta) plus mezerein (MEZ) that induces terminal differentiation (tester cDNA library) and a temporally spaced cDNA library prepared from actively proliferating melanoma cells (driver cDNA library) produced a Temporally Spaced Subtracted (TSS) cDNA library. This approach resulted in the identification of melanoma differentiation associated (mda) genes displaying both enhanced and suppressed expression during growth inhibition and differentiation. In the present report, we describe a novel cDNA mda-9 that consists of 2084 nucleotides, and encodes a protein of 298 amino acids with a predicted M(r) of approx. 33 kDa. Treatment of human SV40-immortalized normal melanoma cells with immune interferon, INF-gamma, induces growth suppression and enhances mda-9 expression without inducing terminal differentiation. These results establish that induction of terminal differentiation in human melanoma cells, using the combination of a type I interferon (IFN-beta) + MEZ, can elicit signaling pathways and gene expression changes also regulated by type II immune interferon.