We have determined the primary structure of the alpha 1(IV)-chain of human type IV collagen by nucleotide sequencing of overlapping cDNA clones that were isolated from a human placental cDNA library. The present data provide the sequence of 295 amino acids not previously determined. Altogether, the alpha 1(IV)-chain contains 1642 amino acids and has a molecular mass of 157625 Da. There are 1413 residues in the collagenous domain and 229 amino acids in the carboxy-terminal globular domain. The human alpha 1(IV)-chain contains a total of 21 interruptions in the collagenous Gly-X-Y repeat sequence. These interruptions vary in length between two and eleven residues. The alpha 1(IV)-chain contains four cysteine residues in the triple-helical domain, four cysteines in the 15-residue long noncollagenous sequence at the amino-terminus and 12 cysteines in the carboxy-terminal NC-domain.