The genomic sequence on mouse Chromosome (Chr) 2 corresponding to a previously identified novel cDNA has been characterized. The genomic organization of this locus, adjacent to the beta 2 microglobulin gene, has the properties of a processed gene or retroposon including the presence of a short flanking direct repeat, a polyadenylation signal/poly A tract, and the absence of introns. Analysis of inbred and wild-derived Mus DNAs reveals the retroposon to be a feature only of M. m. domesticus subspecies, suggesting that the insertion event is relatively recent. This notion is supported by the presence of an open reading frame and the lack of sequence divergence in the flanking direct repeats. The complex chromatin configuration characteristic of this region in mouse and human is not, therefore, related to this cDNA. The cognate parental gene encoding the cDNA was mapped to Chr 11. A further, more ancient retroposon present in many Mus species localizes to Chr 17.