Monoamine oxidase (MAO) A and B play an important role in regulating levels of biogenic amines. MAO A and B cDNAs have been cloned and the deduced amino acids share 73% sequence identity. The genes for MAOA and B are comprised of 15 exons interspersed by 14 introns, span at least 60 kb and exhibit identical exon-intron organization. These findings suggest that the MAOA and MAOB genes are derived from the duplication of a common ancestral gene. The core promoter region of MAOA is comprised of two 90 bp repeats, each of which contains two Spl elements and lacks a TATA box. The MAOB core promoter region contains two sets of overlapping Spl sites which flank a CACCC element all upstream of a TATA box. The different organization of the MAOA and MAOB promoters may underlie their different cell and tissue specific expression.