We have previously described the isolation and sequencing of cDNA clones encoding flavin-containing monooxygenases (FMOs) 1 and 4 of man [Dolphin, C., Shephard, E. A., Povey, S., Palmer, C. N. A., Ziegler, D. M., Ayesh, R., Smith, R. L. & Phillips, I. R. (1991) J. Biol. Chem. 266, 12379-12385; Dolphin, C., Shephard E. A., Povey, S., Smith, R. L. & Phillips, I. R. (1992) Biochem. J. 287, 261-267]. We present here the isolation of a cDNA for FM03 of man. The sequence of this CDNA and the amino acid sequence deduced from it differ substantially from those previously reported for this member of the FMO family of man. In addition, we have investigated, by quantitative RNase protection assays, the expression in several foetal and adult human tissues of genes encoding FMO1, FMO3 and FMO4, Our results demonstrate that, in the adult, FMO1 is expressed in kidney but not in liver, whereas in the foetus it is expressed in both organs. The lack of expression of FMO1 in adult human liver is in marked contrast to the situation in other mammals, such as pig and rabbit, in which FMO1 constitutes a major form of the enzyme in the liver of the adult animal. The mRNA encoding FMO3 is abundant in adult liver and is also present, in low abundance, in some foetal tissues. Thus, FMO1 and FMO3 are both subject to developmental and tissue-specific regulation, with a developmental switch in the expression of the genes taking place in the liver. FMO4 mRNA is present in low abundance in several foetal and adult tissues and thus the corresponding gene appears to be expressed constitutively.