Using a subtractive hybridization procedure we have constructed a cDNA library enriched for sequences present in functional human T cell lines, but not in human EBV-transformed B cell lines. We have isolated a cDNA clone, AH2-519, representing a novel gene, designated 519. This novel gene is expressed in functional human cytolytic and Th cell lines but not in a variety of other cell lines, including several long-term human T cell tumor lines. The expression of gene 519 is inducible in cultures of normal human PBL using antigenic or mitogenic stimulation. Neither the DNA sequence determined from a full-length cDNA clone overlapping with clone AH2-519 nor the amino acid sequence of its predicted protein product has significant homology to published sequences in the GenBank or NBRF databases. The restricted expression of gene 519 suggests that its gene product is involved in the growth and/or differentiation of normal T cells. The data also show that normal, nontransformed, functional T cells express gene products that can not be readily identified in long-term tumor lines of the same cell lineage.