Hereditary persistance of fetal haemoglobin (HPFH) is a benign condition characterized by the production in adulthood of more than 1% fetal haemoglobin (HbF, alpha 2 gamma 2) in the absence of erythropoietic stress. Several genetic types have been discerned based on the level of HbF produced, the relative contributions of the duplicated fetal (G gamma and A gamma) globin genes, and the presence or absence of deletions involving the beta and delta genes in cis to the mutation. Greek HPFH is a non-deletion variety in which heterozygotes produce 10-20% HbF, predominantly due to overproduction of the A gamma chain. We have cloned a 40-kilobase (kb) region of the beta-globin cluster from a Greek HPFH allele and report here that a point mutation (G----A) occurs 117 base pairs (bp) 5' to the cap site of the A gamma-globin gene, just upstream of the distal CCAAT sequence. The corresponding region of the G gamma-globin gene is normal. We discuss the implications of this finding for the developmental regulation of globin gene expression.