We localized the splice junctions in adenovirus 2 early region 4 (E4) mRNAs. Processing of the E4 precursor RNA positioned the donor splice site of the 5' leader sequence adjacent to acceptor sites near the 5' ends of five of the six open reading regions in the E4 transcription unit. Of particular interest among the E4 mRNAs is an extensively spliced class which includes multiple species with sizes ranging from 1.1 to 0.75 kilobases (kb). Purified 1.1- to 0.75-kb mRNAs specified at least 10 polypeptides in vitro. We detected eight acceptor and two donor splice sites utilized in the deletion of the intron from the 3' portion of these mRNAs. E4 RNAs were isolated from the cytoplasm of infected cells at 5, 9, 12, and 18 h after infection. The E4 mRNAs were present throughout infection, but different members of the 1.1- to 0.7-kb class were predominant at each time assayed. Alternate splicing of the 3.0-kb E4 precursor RNA can generate as many as 25 mRNAs that encode at least 16 polypeptides.