Murine cDNA clones for three cyclin D genes that are normally expressed during the G1 phase of the cell cycle were used to clone the cognate human genes. Bacteriophage and cosmid clones encompassing five independent genomic loci were partially sequenced and chromosomally assigned by an analysis of somatic cell hybrids containing different human chromosomes and by fluorescence in situ hybridization to metaphase spreads from normal peripheral blood lymphocytes. The human cyclin D1 gene (approved gene symbol, CCND1) was assigned to chromosome band 11q13, cyclin D2 (CCND2) to chromosome band 12p13, and cyclin D3 (CCND3) to chromosome band 6p21. Pseudogenes containing sequences related to cyclin D2 and cyclin D3 mapped to chromosome bands 11q13 and 6p21, respectively. Partial nucleotide sequence analysis of exons within each gene revealed that the authentic human cyclin D genes are more related to their mouse counterparts than to each other. These genes are ubiquitously transcribed in human tumor cell lines derived from different cell lineages, but are independently and, in many cases, redundantly expressed. The complex patterns of expression of individual cyclin D genes and their evolutionary conservation across species suggest that each family member may play a distinct role in cell cycle progression.