Human SSX was first identified as the gene involved in the t(X;18) translocation in synovial sarcoma. SSX is a multigene family, with 9 complete genes on chromosome Xp11. Normally expressed almost exclusively in testis, SSX mRNA is expressed in various human tumors, defining SSX as a cancer/testis antigen. We have now cloned the mouse ortholog of SSX. Mouse SSX genes can be divided into Ssxa and Ssxb subfamilies based on sequence homology. Ssxa has only one member, whereas 12 Ssxb genes, Ssxb1 to Ssxb12, were identified by cDNA cloning from mouse testis and mouse tumors. Both Ssxa and Ssxb are located on chromosome X and show tissue-restricted mRNA expression to testis among normal tissues. All putative human and mouse SSX proteins share conserved KRAB and SSX-RD domains. Mouse tumors were found to express some, but not all, Ssxb genes, similar to the SSX activation in human tumors. (C) 2003 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.