A cDNA library from polyA+ RNA of a human teratocarcinoma cell line in phage lambda gt11 was screened with a fragment of the rat beta-polymerase cDNA, lambda pol beta-10, as probe. Five positive phage were identified and plaque purified. The cDNA of one positive clone selected for detailed study was 1257 bp. This insert was sequenced and found to contain the coding region for beta-polymerase, as well as 163 bp and 137 bp from the 5' and 3' untranslated regions, respectively. The primary structure of human beta-polymerase (318 amino acids, Mr = 36, 133) deduced from the cDNA was similar to rat beta-polymerase (95% matched residues). The greatest difference between the sequences of the human and rat cDNAs was in the 3' untranslated regions (64% matched base residues). These results provide necessary sequence information for study of the human beta-polymerase gene.