To isolate candidate genes involved in bovine adipocyte differentiation, we have constructed a subtraction library from a clonal bovine intramuscular preadipocyte (BIP) cell line using PCRsubtraction. We have isolated a set of subtracted cDNA fragments whose respective mRNA levels are up regulated during adipogenesis. Two cDNA clones were determined to be type XII collagen alpha-1. From the expression analysis of type XII collagen, the XIIA-2 isoform was mainly expressed in differentiated BIP cells and adipose tissues. These results suggest that type XII collagen may be associated with adipocyte differentiation and adipose formation in cattle and is a potentially useful marker for adipogenesis.