An extremely large cis-regulatory region generates the parasegment-specific expression patterns of the homeotic genes in the bithorax complex. We present evidence supporting the idea that this cis-regulatory region is subdivided into independent cis-regulatory domains. We describe a Ubx-lacZ transposon which is inserted into one of these domains, iab-7. The PS12-specific pattern of LacZ expression from this reporter indicates that it is subject to the control of the iab-7 cis-regulatory domain, but is protected from the effects of adjacent regulatory domains. Protection on the proximal side appears to be provided by the Fab-7 boundary element. Deletion of this boundary results in the ectopic activation of iab-7 in PS11 (where the iab-6 cis-regulatory domain normally functions). We show that the Fab-7 boundary, like other boundaries, has an unusual chromatin structure.