The FUR1 gene of Saccharomyces cerevisiae encodes uracil phosphoribosyltransferase (UPRTase) which catalyses the conversion of uracil into uridine 5'-monophosphate (UMP) in the pyrimidine salvage pathway. The FUR1 gene is included in a 2.1 kb genomic segment of DNA and is transcribed into a 1 kb poly(A)+mRNA. Sequencing has determined a 753 bp open reading frame capable of encoding a protein of 251 amino acids. The FUR1 genes for three recessive fur1 alleles, having different sensibilities to 5-fluorouridine (5-FUR) but identical levels of resistance to 5-fluorouracil (5-FU), were cloned and sequenced. Single bp changes located in different regions of the gene were found in each mutant. Two in vitro-constructed deletions of the FUR1 gene have been integrated at the chromosomal locus, giving strains with 5-FURR and 5-FURR mutant phenotype. Assays of UPRTase, uridine kinase, uridine ribohydrolase and uridine 5'-monophosphate nucleotidase enzymatic activities, in extracts of strains where the FUR1 gene is overexpressed or deleted, indicate that the FUR1 encoded protein possesses only UPRTase activity.