Glucose-6-phosphatase (G6Pase) catalyzes the final step in the gluconeogenic and glycogenolytic pathways, the hydrolysis of glucose-6-phosphate (G6P) to glucose and phosphate. This paper describes the identification and characterization of a human cDNA and gene encoding a ubiquitously expressed G6Pase catalytic subunit-related protein (UGRP). The ORF of this UGRP cDNA encodes a protein (346 amino acids (aa); M(r) 38 709) which shares 36% overall identity to the human G6Pase catalytic subunit (357 aa; M(r) 40 487). UGRP exhibits a similar predicted transmembrane topology and conservation of many of the catalytically important residues with the G6Pase catalytic subunit; however, unlike the G6Pase catalytic subunit, UGRP does not catalyze G6P hydrolysis. UGRP mRNA was detected by RNA blot analysis in every tissue examined with the highest expression in muscle. Database analysis showed that the human UGRP gene is composed of six exons, spans approximately 5.4 kbp of genomic DNA and is located on chromosome 17q21 with the G6Pase catalytic subunit gene. The UGRP gene transcription start sites were mapped by primer extension analysis, and the activity of the UGRP gene promoter was analyzed using luciferase fusion gene constructs. In contrast to the G6Pase catalytic subunit gene promoter, the UGRP promoter was highly active in all cell lines examined.