Caveolin-3, a muscle-specific caveolin-related protein, is the principal structural protein of caveolae membrane domains in striated muscle cell types (cardiac and skeletal). Recently, we identified an autosomal dominant form of limb girdle muscular dystrophy in humans that is due to mutations within exon 2 of the caveolin-3 gene (3p25). However, the detailed location of the human caveolin-3 gene and its position with regard to neighboring genes remains unknown. Here, we have isolated three independent BAC clones containing the human caveolin-3 gene. Using a PCR-based approach, we determined that these clones contain both exons 1 and 2 of the human caveolin-3 gene. In addition, we performed microsatellite marker analysis of these BAC clones, using a panel of 13 markers that are known to map within the 3p25 region. Our results indicate that these BAC clones contain the following three markers: D3S18, SHGC-1079 (also known as D3S4163) and D3S4539. Interestingly, D3S18 is a marker for two known human diseases, von Hippel-Lindau disease and 3p-syndrome. As D3S4163 and D3S4539 are known to map in the vicinity of the 3' end of the human oxytocin receptor gene, we determined if these caveolin-3 positive BACs also contain the oxytocin receptor gene. We show that (i) these BACs contain all four exons of the oxytocin receptor gene and (ii) that the genes encoding caveolin-3 and the oxytocin receptor are located approximately 7-10 kb apart and in the opposite orientation. As 3p-syndrome is characterized by cardiac septal defects and caveolin-3 is expressed primarily in the heart and skeletal muscle, caveolin-3 is a candidate gene that may be deleted in 3p-syndrome.