The epidermal differentiation complex (EDC) comprises a large number of genes that are of crucial importance for the maturation of the human epidermis. So far, 27 genes of 3 related families encoding structural as well as regulatory proteins have been mapped within a 2-Mb region on chromosome 1q21. Here we report on the identification of 10 additional EDC genes by a powerful subtractive hybridization method using entire YACs (950_e_2 and 986_e_10) to screen a gridded human keratinocyte cDNA library. Localization of the detected cDNA clones has been established on a long-range restriction map covering more than 5 Mb of this genomic region. The genes encode cytoskeletal tropomyosin TM30nm (TPM3), HS1-binding protein Hax-1 (HAX1), RNA-specific adenosine deaminase (ADAR1), the 34/67-kD laminin receptor (LAMRL6), and the 26S proteasome subunit p31 (PSMD8L), as well as five hitherto uncharacterized proteins (NICE-1, NICE-2, NICE-3, NICE-4, and NICE-5). The nucleotide sequences and putative ORFs of the EDC genes identified here revealed no homology with any of the established EDC gene families. Whereas database searches revealed that NICE-3, NICE-4, and NICE-5 were expressed in many tissues, no EST or gene-specific sequence was found for NICE-2. Expression of NICE-1 was up-regulated in differentiated keratinocytes, pointing to its relevance for the terminal differentiation of the epidermis. The newly identified EDC genes are likely to provide further insights into epidermal differentiation and they are potential candidates to be involved in skin diseases and carcinogenesis that are associated with this region of chromosome 1. Moreover, the extended integrated map of the EDC, including the polymorphic sequence tag site (STS) markers D1S1664, D1S2346, and D1S305, will serve as a valuable tool for linkage analyses.