Neurofibromatosis 1 maps to chromosome band 17q11.2, and the NF1 locus has been partially characterized. Even though the full-length NF1 cDNA has been sequenced, the complete genomic structure of the NF1 gene has not been elucidated. The 5' end of NF1 is embedded in a CpG island containing a NotI restriction site, and the remainder of the gene lies in the adjacent 350-kb NotI fragment. In our efforts to develop a comprehensive screen for NF1 mutations, we have isolated genomic DNA clones that together harbor the entire NF1 cDNA sequence. We have identified all intron-exon boundaries of the coding region and established that it is composed of 59 exons. Furthermore, we have defined the 3'-untranslated region (3'-UTR) of the NF1 gene; it spans approximately 3.5 kb of genomic DNA sequence and is continuous with the stop codon. Oligonucleotide primer pairs synthesized from exon-flanking DNA sequences were used in the polymerase chain reaction with cloned, chromosome 17-specific genomic DNA as template to amplify NF1 exons 1 through 27b and the exon containing the 3'-UTR separately. This information should be useful for implementing a comprehensive NF1 mutation screen using genomic DNA as template.