Mutations in the gene for Bruton's tyrosine kinase result in the B cell differentiation defects X-linked agammaglobulinemia in man and X-linked immunodeficiency in mice. Here we describe the generation of two yeast artificial chromosome (YAC)-transgenic mouse strains in which high-level expression of human Btk is provided by endogenous regulatory cis-acting elements that are present on a 340-kb transgene, Yc340-hBtk. The expression pattern of the transgenic human Btk was found to parallel that of the endogenous murine gene. When the Yc340-hBtk-transgenic mice were mated onto a Btk-deficient background, the xid B cell defects were fully corrected: conventional and CD5+ B-1 B cells were present in normal numbers, serum IgM and IgG3 levels as well as responses to T cell-independent type II antigens were in the normal ranges. In vivo competition experiments in Btk+/- female mice demonstrated that in the conventional B cell population the Yc340-hBtk transgene could fully compensate the absence of expression of endogenous murine Btk. We conclude that in the YAC-transgenic mice Btk is appropriately expressed in the context of native regulatory sequences.