A cDNA denoted pRK270 hybridizes to two mRNA species in RNA blots. The mRNAs specific to this clone are not expressed during vegetative growth and multicellular development. They are, however, found predominantly during early stages of spore germination, suggesting that their synthesis is rapidly and coordinately turned on during germination. Two different cDNAs named 270-6 and 270-11 were isolated, representing the two mRNAs. DNA blot analysis shows that 270 is a multigene family. Four genes were isolated from Dictyostelium genomic libraries and sequenced. The putative proteins coded for by these genes are about 51,000, 55,000, 76,000, and 100,000 Da. Two of the genes are expressed during spore germination while transcripts for the other two are not present during spore germination, vegetative growth, or the stages of multicellular development studied. The cDNAs and genes code for deduced proteins that possess a very unusual internal amino acid repeat comprised of the tetrapeptide threonine-glutamic acid-threonine-proline. The other portions of the proteins have no homology among themselves. The 270-6 protein shows excellent identity with avocado (Persea americana) cellulase, indicating that it may function as an endo-(1,4)-beta-D-glucanase.