Two overlapping cDNA clones encoding human DNA topoisomerase II were identified by two independent methods. In one, a human cDNA library in phage lambda was screened by hybridization with a mixed oligonucleotide probe encoding a stretch of seven amino acids found in yeast and Drosophila DNA topoisomerase II; in the other, a different human cDNA library in a lambda gt11 expression vector was screened for the expression of antigenic determinants that are recognized by rabbit antibodies specific to human DNA topoisomerase II. The entire coding sequences of the human DNA topoisomerase II gene were determined from these and several additional clones, identified through the use of the cloned human TOP2 gene sequences as probes. Hybridization between the cloned sequences and mRNA and genomic DNA indicates that the human enzyme is encoded by a single-copy gene. The location of the gene was mapped to chromosome 17q21-22 by in situ hybridization of a cloned fragment to metaphase chromosomes and by hybridization analysis with a panel of mouse-human hybrid cell lines, each retaining a subset of human chromosomes.