cDNAs encoding the human homolog of BAG1, a Bcl-2-binding protein with anti-apoptotic function, were cloned. DNA sequence analysis of human BAG1 cDNAs predicts a protein with an additional 55 amino acids at its NH2-terminus compared to the mouse protein. Immunoblot assays using monoclonal antibodies raised against bacterially produced h-BAG1 protein confirmed the larger size of the human protein (approximately 34 kDa) compared to mouse. PCR analysis of DNA from human x rodent somatic cell hybrids using human BAG1-specific primers localized the gene to human chromosome 9. Cosmid clones of h-BAG1 were obtained and used for fluorescence in situ hybridization analysis of normal metaphase chromosomes, thus localizing h-BAG1 to 9p12, a region associated with hereditary disorders that may involve developmental dysregulation of programmed cell death.