A cDNA clone for the histamine H1 receptor was isolated from a human lung cDNA library; it encoded a protein of 487 amino acids which showed characteristic features of G-protein-coupled receptors. The percentages of identity of the deduced amino acid sequence with bovine, rat and guinea pig H1 histamine receptors were 82.6%, 79.4% and 73.3%, respectively, whereas these percentages decreased to 74.6%, 66% and 56.7% for the amino acid sequence of the third intracellular loop. The human H1-receptor cDNA was transfected into Chinese hamster ovary cells (CHO) via an eukaryotic expression vector; the receptor protein present on cell membranes specifically bound [3H]mepyramine with a Kd of 3.7 nM. The binding was displaced by H1-histamine-receptor antagonists and histamine. Northern blot analysis indicated the presence of two histamine H1 receptor mRNAs of 3.5 kb and 4.1 kb in various human tissues and an additional mRNA of 4.8 kb restricted to the human brain. Finally, by means of somatic cell hybrids segregating either human or rat chromosomes, the gene for histamine H1 receptor was found to reside on human chromosome 3 and rat chromosome 4.