Murinoglobulins are the single chain members of the alpha 2-macroglobulin family of proteinase inhibitors in the mouse. DNA clones representing the genes coding for four different murinoglobulins were isolated from three independent mouse genomic DNA libraries. Sequence analysis demonstrated that in each gene two exons are coding for the bait region. This is the specific protein sequence in each alpha-macroglobulin, which is functionally important since it is extremely sensitive to cleavage by different proteinases. The molecular data established the existence of at least four different murinoglobulin genes. Three of these corresponded to the three cDNA clones previously identified. Sequencing of intron-exon boundaries and intron sizing allowed us to construct physical maps of the region from exon 15 to exon 25 (numbered in comparison to mouse alpha 2-macroglobulin) in each murinoglobulin gene. Southern blotting of genomic DNA from five different mouse strains confirmed this analysis and even suggested the possible existence of a fifth murinoglobulin gene. These data indicate that the mouse presents a genetic repertoire of the alpha 2-macroglobulin family much more complex than originally anticipated. The bait region exon sequences showed a considerably higher degree of divergence (72 to 88% sequence identity) than that of the flanking exon sequences coding for adjacent, structural domains of the murinoglobulin proteinase inhibitors (91 to 96%). Even more surprising was that adjacent intron sequences are conserved as faithfully as the nonbait region coding exons (90 to 96%). These data demonstrate a unique property of the bait region coding sequences, as they apparently are allowed to mutate considerably. This divergency must then confer divergent proteinase inhibitory properties to the resulting proteins.