Fungal cellobiohydrolases are unique enzymes capable of degrading highly ordered crystalline cellulose. We present here the isolation and complete sequence analysis of the chromosomal and cDNA copies of the structural gene (cbh2) coding for one of the major cellobiohydrolases (CBH II) of Trichoderma reesei. We also present data on expression of the cbh2 gene and show that the transcription start points of the cbh2 gene are heterogeneous and are located 32 to 52 bp downstream from a putative TATA box. The derived CBH II protein sequence is 471 amino acids long and the coding region is interrupted by three short introns. Most of the CBH II protein bears no apparent resemblance to CBH I and endoglucanase I. However, a short region of extensive homology is found in all Trichoderma cellulases characterized so far, suggesting that this region is important for cellulose hydrolysis. The implications of this information with regard to the evolution of fungal cellulase genes and the enzymology of cellulose hydrolysis are discussed.