We have cloned the complete coding region for a human homologue of the Drosophila melanogaster sluggish-A and yeast PUT1 genes, previously shown to encode proline oxidase activity in these organisms. The predicted 516-residue human protein shows strong homology (51% amino acid sequence identity) to the D. melanogaster protein, indicating that this new human gene may encode proline oxidase. Northern analysis shows that the gene is expressed in human lung, skeletal muscle and brain, to a lesser extent in heart and kidney, and weakly in liver, placenta and pancreas. The gene was mapped by fluorescence in situ hybridization and by in situ hybridization with a [3H]-labelled DNA probe to chromosome 22q11.2, a region previously implicated in type-I hyperprolinaemia in a case of CATCH 22 syndrome, a contiguous gene deletion syndrome involving 22q11. Taken together, the evidence indicates that this new human gene is a good candidate gene for type-I hyperprolinaemia. In view of the neurological phenotype of the D. melanogaster sluggish-A mutant, it is of interest that schizophrenia and bipolar disorder susceptibility genes also map in this region.