Genotyping of the HLA-C locus by PCR-SSP has previously shown 100% association of B41 and B42 with a new allelic variant. Partial sequencing studies (exons 2-4) demonstrated that this PCR-SSP variant corresponded to the new allele Cw*1701. In this study we have characterized the whole coding region of Cw*1701 from a Bubi individual of Equatorial Guinea. Our results partially confirm the previously reported sequence and reveal that Cw*1701 has many new polymorphisms at several exons, including a 18-bp insertion in exon 5. Cw*1701 is thus a most unusual HLA-C molecule defining a third allelic lineage of this locus.