involves alterations in specific patterns of gene expression. In order to screen for brain region specific mRNAs which are transcriptionally regulated by acute cocaine and amphetamine, PCR differential display was employed. This approach identified a previously uncharacterized mRNA whose relative levels in the striatum are induced four- to fivefold by acute psychomotor stimulant administration. Isolation and characterization of corresponding cDNA clones resulted in complete nucleotide sequence analysis, including prediction of the encoded protein product. Alternate polyA site utilization in the predicted 3′ noncoding region results in the appearance of an RNA doublet, approximately 700 and 900 bases in length, following Northern analysis. A presumed alternate splicing event further generates diversity within the transcripts, and results in the presence or absence of an in-frame 39 base insert within the putative protein coding region. As a result, the predicted translation products are either 129 or 116 amino acids in length. A common hydrophobic leader sequence at the amino terminus is present within each predicted polypeptide, suggesting that the protein product is targeted for entry into the secretory pathway. Basal expression of the RNA doublet is limited to neuroendocrine tissues, further implying that the protein product plays a functional role in both neuronal and endocrine tissues.