The complete nucleotide sequence of human papillomavirus type 1a (7811 nucleotides) has been established. The overall organization of the viral genome is different from that of other related papovaviruses (SV40, BKV, polyoma). Firstly, genetic information seems to be coded by one strand. Secondly, no significant homology is found with SV40 or polyoma coding sequence for either DNA or deducted protein sequences. The relatedness of human and bovine papillomaviruses is revealed by a conserved coding sequence in the two species. Two regions can be defined on the viral genome: the putative early region contains two large open reading frames of 1446 and 966 nucleotides, together with several split ones, and corresponds to the transforming part of the bovine papillomavirus type 1 genome, and the remaining sequences, which include two open reading frames likely to encode structural polypeptide(s). The DNA sequence is analysed and putative signals for regulation of gene expression, and homologies with the Alu family of human ubiquitous repeats and the SV40 72-bp repeat are outlines.