Human forms of cholecystokinin have not previously been characterized chemically. In this study, we have extracted and purified the predominant molecular form of cholecystokinin present in human cerebral cortex. The peptide was characterized by amino acid analysis, automated peptide sequencing, and fast atom bombardment mass spectrometry. It appears to be identical to porcine cholecystokinin-octapeptide, with the sequence of Asp-Tyr(SO3)-Met-Gly-Trp-Met-Asp-Phe(NH2). This structural identity is consistent with the observations that the peptide in human brain and porcine cholecystokinin-octapeptide are recognized similarly by a battery of antisera to porcine cholecystokinin; that they coelute from several chromatographic systems, including gel filtration, ion exchange, and reversed-phase; and that they possess similar biological activities.