Split hand/split foot (SHFD) is a human developmental defect characterized by missing digits, fusion of remaining digits, and a deep median cleft in the hands and feet. Cytogenetic studies of deletions and translocations associated with this disorder have indicated that an autosomal dominant split hand/split foot locus (gene SHFD1) maps to 7q21-q22. To characterize the SHFD1 locus, somatic cell hybrid lines were constructed from cytogenetically abnormal individuals with SHFD. Molecular analysis resulted in the localization of 93 DNA markers to one of 10 intervals surrounding the SHFD1 locus. The translocation breakpoints in four SHFD patients were encompassed by the smallest region of overlap among the SHfD-associated deletions. The order of DNA markers in the SHFD1 critical region has been defined as PON-D7S812-SHFD1-D7S811-ASNS. One DNA marker, D7S811, detected altered restriction enzyme fragments in three patients with translocations when examined by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). These data map SHFD1, a gene that is crucial for human limb differentiation, to a small interval in the q21.3-q22.1 region of human chromosome 7.