Hyperpolarization-activated, cyclic nucleotide-gated (HCN) channels, underlying 'pacemaker' currents (I(f)/Ih), are involved in pacemaker activity of cardiac sinoatrial node myocytes and central neurons. Several cDNAs deriving from four different genes were recently identified which code for channels characterized by six transmembrane domains and a cyclic nucleotide binding domain. We report here the identification of the human HCN2 gene and show that its functional expression in a human kidney cell line generates a current with properties similar to the native pacemaker f-channel of the heart. The hHCN2 gene maps to the telomeric region of chromosome 19, band p13.3. This is the first identification of a genetic locus coding for an HCN channel.