Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors found in the peripheral and central nervous system differ from those found at the neuromuscular junction. Recently we isolated a cDNA clone encoding the alpha subunit of a neuronal acetylcholine receptor expressed in both the peripheral and central nervous system. In this paper we report the isolation of a cDNA encoding the alpha subunit of a second acetylcholine receptor expressed in the central nervous system. Thus it is clear that there is a family of genes coding for proteins with sequence and structural homology to the alpha subunit of the muscle nicotinic acetylcholine receptor. Members of this gene family are expressed in different regions of the central nervous system and, presumably, code for subtypes of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor.