The amino acid sequence of the 216-residue-long N-terminal aggregation and cross-linking 7S domain of the alpha 1 (IV) chain of human placental basement membrane collagen is presented. The N terminus of the alpha 1 (IV) chain starts with a non-triple-helical region, which is at least 15 residues long and contains four cysteine and two lysine residues as putative cross-linking sites. This segment is followed by a 120-residue-long triple helical region, which contains the unusual occurrence of a cysteine residue in the Xaa position of a Gly-Xaa-Yaa triplet. Since individual molecules in the 7S domain are associated in an antiparallel manner, this cysteine probably aligns with one of the four cysteines in the amino-terminal end of an adjacent molecule, forming an intermolecular disulfide bridge. The length of the overlap of two adjacent molecules is estimated to be about 110 residues. The triple helix adjacent to the overlap zone is interrupted by a 10-residue-long non-helical area, which is probably responsible for the flexible region of the molecules in the neighbourhood of the overlap zone observed in the electron microscope. The mode of aggregation of the 7S domain, the formation of intermolecular cross-links as well as the relatively high stability of this region against proteolytic attack are discussed in the light of the elucidated amino acid sequence.