The gene for the stimulatory G protein-coupled human A2a adenosine receptor was isolated and sequence analysis revealed two exons that are interrupted by an intron of approximately 6.4 kb. An intron is located in the same region in the human A1 and A2b adenosine receptor genes. Comparison of the A2a genomic and cDNA sequences reveals two nucleotide differences in the coding region and the presence of an aberrant sequence in the 5'208 base pairs of the A2a cDNA including a polymorphism in the third base of codon Tyr-361 and Gly codon which was always detected at residue 392, indicated that the Arg codon present in the cDNA may be an artifact. Fluorescent in situ hybridization and PCR analysis of human-hamster hybrid cell panels shows that the A2a receptor gene is localized to chromosome 22q11.2. This is in contrast with previous reports (subsequently retracted) which mapped the A2a gene to chromosome 11q11-13.