AIM: The elucidation of the structure of the 5' flanking region and the exonic organisation of the human cysteine dioxygenase type I gene. METHODS: Material for sequence studies was generated by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) methods using human genomic DNA, a cosmid clone containing the entire gene, and a commercial gene walking kit. RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS: The gene was found to be--12 kb in length and made up of five exons (418, 78, 155, 170, and 731 base pairs, respectively). The immediate 5' flanking region did not contain the canonical TATAA box. One DNA source (Clontech promoter finder kit) contained a liver specific nuclear factor response element approximately 550 base pairs from the transcription start site, whereas a second source did not. This and other cis acting factors in the 5' flanking region were identified by computer analysis. The physiological significance of such elements requires detailed experimental evaluation.