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The Thb locus is responsible for the expression of 15-kDa phosphatidyl inositol anchored molecules (ThB) on murine thymocytes and B cells. Thb expression as detected with mAb is polymorphic on B cells with two alleles, Thbh and Thb1 responsible for the high and low expression of ThB on B cells. The regulatory locus for Thb expression had been mapped with the Ly-6 cluster of genes to Chr 15. In our study we used expression cloning in COS cells to isolate cDNA clones that code for ThB after transfection; the cDNA products react with anti- ThB antibodies, but not with Ly-6A.2, -6B.2, -6C.2, or -6D.2 antibodies. One of these clones, pThB-A contains insert of 702 bases which was sequenced. The translated amino acid sequence has 11 cysteine residues, and together with the absence of potential N-linked glycosylation sites is similar to the structure of the Ly-6 molecules. The nucleotide and amino acid sequences of ThB cDNA were compared to those of Ly-6 genes and the Ly-6 related human CD59 and show clear homology. Finally using interspecies crosses, the structural Thb gene has been mapped to Chr 15; thus both structural and regulatory genes map to a similar site. The genetic map location near Ly-6 and the sequence similarity suggest that Thb and Ly-6 may have been derived from the same progenitor by gene duplication.