Infection of mice with Japanese encephalitis virus or Rabies virus results in the activation of a gene encoding a novel, non-coding RNA (ncRNA) in the mouse central nervous system. This transcript, named virus-inducible ncRNA (VINC), is identical to a 3.18 kb transcript expressed in mouse neonate skin (GenBank accession no. AK028745) that, together with a number of unannotated cDNAs and expressed sequence tags, is grouped in the mouse unigene cluster Mm281895. VINC is expressed constitutively in early mouse embryo and several adult non-neuronal mouse tissues, as well as a murine renal adenocarcinoma (RAG) cell line. Northern blotting of nuclear and cytoplasmic RNAs revealed that VINC is localized primarily in the nucleus of RAG cells and is thus a novel member of the nuclear ncRNA family.