Reduced RNA and/or protein levels corresponding to the murine nm23-1 and human nm23-H1 complementary DNA clones have been correlated with high tumor metastatic potential in several rodent model systems and human breast carcinomas. We report the identification of a second human nm23 gene, designated nm23-H2. The pNM23-H2S complementary DNA clone predicted a Mr 17,000 protein 88% identical to nm23-H1. nm23-H2 also shared a significant homology with nucleoside diphosphate kinases and a Drosophila developmental gene. Southern blots containing Bg/II-restricted genomic DNA, which exhibited an allelic restriction fragment length polymorphism for nm23-H1, contained nonallelic bands upon rehybridization to the nm23-H2 probe. Thus, nm23-H1 and nm23-H2 are distinct genes. Northern blot hybridization of nm23-H1- and nm23-H2-specific probes to breast tumors and cell lines indicated that nm23-H1 expression was reduced in high metastatic potential tumor cells to a greater extent than nm23-H2. The data indicate the existence of a family of independently regulated nm23 genes.

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