The murine gene for the NPY-1 receptor subtype for neuropeptide Y was characterized by DNA sequencing and expression studies. It comprises three exons with a 6,400 bp 5'-untranslated and a 80 bp internal intronic sequence. The 5'-flanking region of this gene lacks TATA or CCAAT consensus sequences in the proximity to the multiple transcription initiation sites. A 1,300 bp genomic fragment of the 5'-flanking region drives the expression of the lacZ reporter gene in NG108-15 cells and primary cultured neurons but not in glial and human embryonic kidney cells. In addition, it contains consensus sequences for various transcription factors including cAMP- and glucocorticoid-responsive elements.