We have identified a genomic clone containing the 5' regulatory region of the gene GTP-CH encoding human GTP cyclohydrolase I. The transcription start point (tsp) was mapped by 5'-rapid amplification of cDNA ends (5'-RACE). The 2.6-kb region upstream from the tsp showed promoter activity when ligated upstream from a reporter gene. The truncation of approximately 2 kb of the promoter did not change expression activity, while a further removal of 243 bp halved the activity. The promoter contains CCAAT and TATA boxes. The GC-rich region close to the tsp, which contains several putative Sp1-responsive elements, is required for maximum promoter activity. Interferon-gamma treatment of B-cells transfected with reporter constructs had no influence on the expression activity.