The differential display technique was used to identify genes whose expression was regulated by 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD). Expression of a novel sequence was up-regulated in a dose-dependent fashion in liver of Sprague-Dawley male rats exposed to both chronic and acute treatment with TCDD, as measured by densitometry of Northern blot analyses (P < 0.01). A rapid amplification of cDNA ends (RACE) procedure was used to isolate a 1.8 kb cDNA from a rat liver cDNA preparation. This cloned cDNA, called 25-Dx, was sequenced and found to encode a peptide of 223 amino acids. In control rats, the 25-Dx gene was expressed at high levels in lung and liver. A hydrophobic domain of 14 residues followed by a proline-rich domain, both located in the N-terminal region, showed 71% homology with the transmembrane domain of the precursor for the interleukin-6 receptor and a conserved consensus sequence found in the cytokine/growth factor/prolactin receptor superfamily respectively.