In the Caucasian population, the RH locus of RhD-positive individuals is composed of two homologous genes, RHD and RHCE, arranged in tandem but of a single gene, RHCE, in RhD-negative individuals. Many variants recently characterized carry rearranged RH genes, most often by an unidirectional segmental DNA-exchange (gene-conversion) event. In D(VI) variants of type II, RHD is a D-CE-D hybrid gene in which the DNA fragment carrying exons 4-6 has been replaced by the corresponding sequences from the RHCE gene. To identify precisely and characterize the two transition sites, we have studied, by both PCR and sequence analysis, a genomic region between the 3' end of intron 3 and exon 7 in normal RHCE and RHD genes as well as in D(VI) DNA. We show that the D-CE breakpoint is located in intron 3, within a 250-bp fragment comprising an Alu S sequence, and that the CE-D breakpoint lies within a 39-bp fragment in intron 6. This Alu S sequence (and the 100-bp region immediately downstream) most likely defines a recombination hot spot, since there lies also the 5' breakpoint of different rearrangement events leading to D-CE and CE-D transitions in hybrid D(VI),DFR and Dc-,R(N) gene complexes, respectively.