Germline mutations of the APC (adenomatous polyposis coli) gene lead to multiple intestinal tumors in familial adenomatous polyposis patients and in Min (multiple intestinal neoplasia) mice. Consequently, these mice provide an excellent model for familial colon cancer. We have identified an Mr approx. 66 kDa glycoprotein which is preferentially expressed at the cell surface of cell lines established from chemically induced rat colon carcinomas. Cloning of the corresponding Tage4 cDNA has revealed that this protein contains the conserved amino acids characteristic of members of the immunoglobulin gene superfamily. Here, we analyze expression of the mouse Tage4gene in Min mouse intestinal adenomas. RT-PCR analysis allowed us to detect expression of this gene in all the mouse adenomas tested. In contrast, lower levels of Tage4 mRNA were found in the intestinal tract and barely detectable levels in other tissues of normal mice. Furthermore, Tage4 mRNA was detected in a series of mouse intestinal adenomas by in situ hybridization. A strong signal was seen in the samples analyzed. © 1996 Wiley-Liss, Inc.