The characterization of two alpha 2-macroglobulin (alpha 2M)-related genomic clones, isolated from two human genomic libraries by use of alpha 2M cDNA [Kan et al., Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 82 (1985) 2282-2286] as a probe, is reported. Sequence comparison of the clone EPZP6 with the human alpha 2M cDNA revealed the presence of five exons with the proper splice signals. Alignment of the corresponding amino acid (aa) sequence of these exons with the published partial pregnancy-zone protein (PZP) aa sequence (Sottrup-Jensen et al., Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 81 (1984) 7353-7357] showed a perfect match, thereby identifying EPZP6 as a PZP genomic clone. The clone MPAM16 showed a considerable degree of sequence conservation when compared to the human alpha 2M cDNA sequence, and several putative exons were identified. However, a frame-shift mutation leading to a premature stop codon was found in the coding sequence, classifying this gene as an alpha 2M pseudogene. Human alpha 2M, PZP and the related pseudogene were mapped to the human chromosome 12p12-13, with the help of gene-specific probes and in situ hybridization. This result was confirmed in Southern-blot experiments with DNA from a human-Ltk- mouse somatic-cell hybrid containing only a human isochromosome 12p in a mouse background.