The human P450IIE1 gene, coding for an ethanol-inducible nitrosamine-metabolizing P-450, was isolated from a lambda EMBL3 genomic library and completely sequenced. The human gene spanned 11,413 base pairs and contained nine exons and a typical TATA box. Upstream and downstream DNAs of 2788 and 559 base pairs were also sequenced and compared to the rat gene. Significant areas of sequence similarity were observed within 140 base pairs upstream of the transcription start site in the rat and human genes. Human DNA 539 base pairs upstream of the transcription start site was inserted into the expression vector pSVOAL delta 5', and luciferase activity was detected when the constructs were introduced into a rat hepatoma cell line. The activity was over 100-fold lower than that of pRSVL, a Rous sarcoma virus LTR-driven luciferase gene. By use of panels of rodent-human cell hybrids, the gene was mapped to chromosome 10 (CYP2E locus). A full-length cDNA, constructed with the first exon of the genomic clone and a partial cDNA clone, was expressed in COS cells and found to code for N-nitrosodimethylamine demethylase activity.