Receptors for immunoglobulin G immune complexes (Fc gamma RII and Fc gamma RIII) are expressed on most hematopoietic cells and show much structural and functional diversity. In order to determine the genetic basis for this diversity, a family of genes encoding the human and mouse receptors was isolated and characterized. Humans have five distinct genes for low-affinity Fc gamma Rs, in contrast to two in the mouse. With the use of yeast artificial chromosomes, the genes encoding the human receptors were oriented and linked, which established the structure of this complex locus. Comparison of the human and mouse genes generated a model for the evolutionary amplification of this locus.