Factor H is a regulatory protein of the alternative pathway of complement activation comprised of 20 tandem repeating units of 60 amino acids each. A factor H cDNA clone was used to identify 17 genomic clones from a cosmid library. Four clones were selected for analysis of intron/exon junctions and 5' and 3' regions of the gene and for mapping of the exons. The factor H gene was found to be comprised of 22 exons. Each repeating unit is encoded by one exon, except the second repeat, which is coded by two exons; the leader sequence is encoded by a separate exon. The exons range in size from 77 to 210 base pairs (bp) and average 178 bp. They span a region of approximately 100 kilobases (kb) on chromosome 1. The leader sequence exon is 26 kb upstream of the first repeat exon, representing the largest intron. The other introns range in size from 86 bp to 12.9 kb, and the average intron size is 4.7 kb. Analysis of the genomic organization of the factor H gene has provided insight into the protein structure and will enable the construction of deletion mutants for functional studies.