We isolated the gene encoding the brain specific snRNP-associated polypeptide "N" from a rat genomic library. Some intronless genes have previously been reported for this polypeptide in the rat. In contrast, our gene consists of at least nine exons (the last exon(s) encoding the 3'-end of the mRNA has not been isolated). The second intron of the gene is probably so long as to hamper the cloning of the complete gene into a single phage vector. Therefore, we used polymerase chain reaction amplification of the rat genome with oligonucleotides designed on the basis of known cDNA sequences that allowed us to isolate and clone the first two exons at the 5'-end of the gene. Primer extension studies revealed multiple transcription start sites, all of them contained within the first exon. The intron/exon organization coincides with the alternative splicing events suggested by the sequences of the various cDNA species isolated so far. As also reported by others, genomic Southern analysis suggests the presence of other genomic regions containing sequences strongly hybridizing to the cDNA. We isolated and characterized two of these regions. They contain sequences very similar to the cDNA, not interrupted by introns and flanked by a polyA tail at their 3'-ends; hence they are considered two different pseudogenes.