Abstract Deoxyribonuclease I (DNase I) has recently been implicated in cell death by apoptosis, a process which is frequently accompanied by chromatin DNA degradation. Despite extensive studies on DNase I, its genomic organisation remained unknown. Here we report for the first time on the intron-exon structure of the DNase I gene. The coding region of mouse DNase I is composed of eight introns and eight exons, spanning 2315 base pairs. The deduced protein sequence is 91.5% identical to its rat counterpart, but does not carry the two mutations (Glu13 to D and V67 to I) responsible for the decrease in actin-binding of rat DNase I. The enzymatic activity of mouse DNase I is found in striated muscle, kidney, intestine, liver, lymphnodes, but not in the heart, spleen or pancreas.