Three genes encoding members of the M(r) 70,000 heat shock protein family (HSP70) are known to lie in the class III region of the human major histocompatibility complex. In order to determine whether these genes or their protein products exhibit any polymorphism the three genes have been specifically amplified from genomic DNA and sequenced. The HSP70-1 and HSP70-2 genes encode the major heat-inducible HSP70. A comparison of the nucleotide sequences of these genes from B8, SC01, DR3, B18, F1C30, DR3, and B7, SC30, DR2 haplotypes has revealed only very limited sequence variation which is not associated with any amino acid polymorphism. The HSP70-Hom gene encodes a protein that is highly related to HSP70-1, but which is not heat-inducible. Nucleotide sequence analysis of this gene from different haplotypes has revealed a Met----Thr amino acid substitution at residue 493 in a number of the haplotypes tested. This variable amino acid lies in the proposed peptide-binding site of the HSP70-Hom protein.