Oxysterols are oxygenated derivatives of cholesterol. They have been shown to influence a variety of biological functions including sterol metabolism, lipid trafficking, and apoptosis. Recently, 12 human OSBP-related genes have been identified. In this study, we have identified a family of 12 oxysterol-binding protein (OSBP)-related proteins (ORPs) in the mouse. A high level of amino acid identity (88-97%) was determined between mouse and human ORPs, indicating a very high degree of evolutionary conservation. All proteins identified contained the conserved OSBP amino acid sequence signature motif "EQVSHHPP," and most contained a pleckstrin homology (PH) domain. Using RT-PCR, each mouse ORP gene was found to exhibit a unique tissue distribution with many showing high expression in testicular, brain, and heart tissues. Interestingly, the tissue distribution of ORP-4 and ORP-10 were the most selective within the family. Expression of the various ORP genes was also investigated, specifically in highly purified populations of hemopoietic precursor cells defined by the lin(-) c-kit(+) Sca-1(+) (LKS(+)) and lin(-) c-kit(+) Sca-1(-) (LKS(-)) immunophenotype. Most ORP genes were expressed in both LKS(+) and LKS(-) populations, although ORP-4 appeared to be more highly expressed in the primitive, stem-cell enriched LKS(+) population, whereas ORP-10 was more highly expressed by maturing LKS(-) cells. The identification of a family of ORP proteins in the mouse, the frequently preferred animal model for in vivo studies, should further our understanding of the function of these proteins and their interactions with each other.