The zinc finger motif, exemplified by a segment of the Drosophila gap gene Krüppel, is a nucleic acid-binding domain present in many transcription factors. To investigate the gene family encoding this motif in the human genome, a placental genomic library was screened at moderate stringency with a degenerate oligodeoxynucleotide probe designed to hybridize to the His/Cys (H/C) link region between adjoining zinc fingers. Over 200 phage clones were obtained and are being sorted into groups by partial sequencing, cross-hybridization with oligodeoxynucleotide probes, and PCR amplification. Further, the genomic clones were cross-hybridized with a set of 30 zinc finger-encoding cDNAs (Kox1-Kox30) isolated from a human T-cell cDNA library. Four cDNAs (Kox4, Kox7, Kox12, and Kox15) were identified that match one or more genomic clones; these matches were confirmed by nucleotide sequence analysis. One or more clones from each locus were mapped onto human metaphase chromosomes by chromosomal in situ suppression hybridization with fluorescent probe detection. We mapped ZNF7/Kox4 to chromosome 8qter, ZNF19/Kox12 to 16q22, ZNF22/Kox15 to 10q11, and ZNF44/Kox7 to 16p11. The results of these analyses support the conclusion that the human genome contains many, probably several hundred, zinc finger genes with consensus H/C link regions.