Blot hybridization analysis of mouse DNA with gamma-crystallin-specific cDNAs has detected the presence of a multigene family comprised of at least four related genes. The detailed structure of one of these genes, mouse gamma 4-crystallin (M gamma 4.1), and its corresponding cDNA has been determined. The gene spans approximately 2.6 kilobases (kb) and contains two introns. The gene predicts a polypeptide of 174 amino acids that shares extensive sequence homology with gamma-crystallin polypeptides of other species. The two similar structural domains of the protein correspond exactly to the second and third exons of the gene, supporting an exon-duplication model of gene evolution. The similarity in structure of this gene to that recently reported for a gamma-crystallin gene of the rat (1) suggests that a common structure may exist for all gamma-crystallin genes of the two species. Moreover, a highly conserved region, 50 nucleotides in length, immediately precedes the TATA box of both the mouse and rat genes, suggesting that this sequence may be important in gene regulation.