The enzyme P450db1 (db1) is responsible for the common human defect in drug oxidation known as the "debrisoquine/sparteine polymorphism." Polyclonal antibody against the rat db1 protein was used to screen a human liver lambda gt11 library for the db1 cDNA clone. A cDNA containing the full protein coding sequence was isolated; the deduced NH2-terminal sequence of this cDNA was identical to that derived from direct sequencing of the purified human db1 protein. Comparison of the human db1 with rat db1 revealed 71 and 73% similarities of nucleotides and amino acids, respectively. By use of human-rodent somatic cell hybrids the db1 gene was localized to human chromosome 22 (CYP2D locus).