We have constructed a plasmid that selectively integrates adjacent to the CYC1 locus, which determines iso-1-cytochrome c in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Different CYC1 alleles can be conveniently recovered by digestion of total DNA from transformed strains with BgI II, a restriction endonuclease that does not cut the vector or the CYC1 gene, followed by transformation of Escherichia coli, selecting the ampicillin resistance gene carried on the original vector. This procedure was used to clone the cyc1-362 gene, which contains an alteration in front of the AUG initiation codon. The cyc1-362 mutational causes a deficiency of the iso-1-cytochrome c protein but still allows transcription of the iso-1-cytochrome c mRNA. DNA sequence analysis showed that the cyc1-362 mutation consisted of two single-base-pair substitutions, producing an A leads to G change 18 nucleotides and a G leads to A change 30 nucleotides in front of the AUG initiation codon in the mRNA. The A leads to G change at position -18 resulted in the creation of an AUG triplet, which is proximal to the normal initiation site and out of phase with the normal reading frame. The deficiency of iso-1-cytochrome c is most simply explained by assuming that translation initiates at the more proximal abnormal AUG site but not at the normal AUG site.