We have identified two PstI polymorphisms of the interleukin 1 receptor type I gene (IL1RI). One of these (RFLP-A) showed significant association to IDDM (P = 0.027), whereas no difference between patients and control subjects was found for RFLP-B (p = 0.42). RFLP-A was physically mapped to the 5'UTR of the gene. We sequenced and analysed a 411 bp region of a putative promotor region (P2) around RFLP-A. RFLP-A was due to a C to T transition in exon 1B of the IL1RI gene. This single-base mutation did not affect any known transcription factor recognition sequence or the predicted secondary mRNA structure. In addition, we found two other single-base substitutions in more than one individual. Neither of these showed specific disease association or absolute linkage with the RFLP-A.