The sequencing of endopeptidase-generated peptides from the peripheral binding site (PBS) for benzodiazepines, purified from a Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cell line, produced internal sequence information, and confirmed and extended the NH2-terminal PBS sequence that we previously reported. Since the sequences were highly similar to the corresponding rat PBS sequences, we investigated whether they were also conserved in human PBS. Scatchard analysis of [3H]PK11195 (a derivative of isoquinoline carboxamide) binding and photoaffinity labeling with [3H]PK14105 (a nitrophenyl derivative of PK11195) revealed that CHO PBS and human PBS are closely related. Furthermore a rabbit antiserum raised against three peptides synthesized on the basis of the CHO PBS sequence immunoprecipitate the solubilized U937 PBS and also recognize the human protein in an immunoblot analysis. Based on these results, we screened a U937 cell cDNA library with four oligonucleotide probes derived from the CHO sequence. Two of the probes hybridized with several clones that we isolated and sequenced. One of these, h-pPBS11, is 831 nucleotides and contains a full-length representation of human PBS mRNA. The amino acid sequence of human PBS deduced from the cDNA is 79% identical to that reported for rat PBS, however, human PBS contains two cysteines while rat PBS is characterized by the absence of this amino acid. Using the cDNA of human PBS as a probe, the PBS gene was located in the 22q13.3 band of the human genome.