The Bcl-2 homologue, Bak, is a potent inducer of apoptosis. FISH data presented here located the gene to 6p21.3. Mapping was consistent with its location centromeric of the HSET locus and approximately 400kb from the MHC. The construction of a contig of genomic clones across the locus facilitated the sequencing of a PAC containing the gene. Comparison of the gene structure to functional and physical domains revealed a good agreement between the physical structure and the intron-exon organisation. The position of a single intron was conserved in comparison to other members of the Bcl-2 family, namely Bax, CED-9, Bcl-X and Bcl-2, but all other introns were displaced, consistent with a divergent phylogeny.