Lymphocyte G0/G1 switch genes (G0S genes) are potential oncogenes and may regulate, be regulated by, or be coordinately regulated with, latent lymphotropic viruses. To identify these genes, a cDNA library was prepared from blood mononuclear cells that had been cultured for 2 hr with a T-cell mitogen (lectin) and cycloheximide. Eight differentially hybridizing recombinants were characterized by RNA and DNA blotting and sequencing. One cDNA (G0S7) corresponded to the oncogene c-fos. Another cDNA (G0S19) was homologous (70%) to a cDNA encoding a murine inhibitor of stem cell proliferation (the cytokine MIP1α) and, less closely, to other members of the “small inducible” secreted protein-encoding gene family. Whereas cDNA hybridization to genomic DNA blots indicated a small subfamily of G0S19 genes, simple patterns of bands indicated that most cDNAs, including G0S30 cDNA, corresponded to single-copy genes. The 3′ noncoding sequence of G0S30 cDNA was homologous (87-89%) to the 3′ noncoding sequences of certain rodent genes (NGFI-A, Krox24, EGR1) that encode zinc finger proteins (putative transcriptional regulators). This degree of evolutionary conservation suggests an important function for the 3′ noncoding region. The 3′ noncoding regions of some cDNAs contained the TTATTTAT (mRNA destabilization) element. The corresponding RNAs each formed doublets in agarose gels. Previous studies of c-fos RNA from HeLa cells indicate that this is due to cycloheximide-dependent stabilization of poly(A) tails. Our results reveal the power of cycloheximide enrichment in isolating what would appear to be significant low-abundance mRNAs.