The genes encoding the 1C and 1B mRNAs of human respiratory syncytial (RS) virus are first in the order of viral transcription and encode nonstructural (NS) proteins of approximate molecular weights 14,000 and 11,000, respectively, estimated by gel electrophoresis. The complete nucleotide sequences of the 1C and 1B mRNAs determined from several full-length cDNA clones are described. The 1C and 1B mRNAs contain 528 and 499 nucleotides, respectively, exclusive of poly(A), and encode proteins of 139 and 124 amino acids. The calculated molecular weights of the predicted NS1C and NS1B proteins are 15,567 and 14,674, respectively. Both mRNA sequences contain the 5'-terminal sequence, 5' GGGGCAAAU . . . , and the 3'-terminal sequence, 5' . . . AGUAUA(N)1-4-poly(A), that were identified previously as conserved among six other RS viral mRNAs. In addition, a dicistronic readthrough RNA having the general structure 5' 1C mRNA-intergenic sequence-1B mRNA 3' was identified by dideoxynucleotide sequencing of intracellular poly(A)+ RNA using a DNA primer derived from a 1B-cDNA clone. In the dicistronic RNA, the nucleotide sequences of the 1C and 1B cistrons are separated by, in mRNA sense, four A residues and the intergenic sequence 5' . . . CUUAACAGAAGACAAAAAN . . . 3' (N represents unidentified nucleotide). The significance of these sequences is discussed.