The majority of Williams-Beuren syndrome (WBS) patients have been shown to have a microdeletion within 7q11.2 including the elastin gene locus. The extent of these deletions has, however, not been well characterized. Thirty-five deletion patients were tested for all polymorphic markers in the 7q11.2 region bounding ELN to define the extent of deletions associated with WBS. With only one exception, ELN, D7S1870, and one copy of the D7S489 locus (D7S489U) were always included in the deletions. One patient showed lack of maternal inheritance at D7S1870 and not at ELN or D7S489U. A product corresponding to D7S489U was amplified from YAC 743G6 and from the P1 clone RMC07P008, thereby localizing both to within the common deletion. The boundary of the deleted region on the proximal (centromeric) side is D7S653 and on the distal side is D7S675, neither of which were ever included in the deletion. One locus, D7S489L, was variably deleted in patients, indicating a minimum of two common breakpoints on the proximal side. At least one additional repeat amplified by D7S489 (D7S489M) was localized to a YAC contig mapping distal to the common deletion. The D7S489 sequence is highly homologous to several cDNA clones in the GenBank database and contains an Alu sequence. It is possible that this andsolidusor other repetitive sequences in this region could play a role in the mechanism of deletion.