The human albumin gene spans 16,961 nucleotides from the putative "Cap" site to the first poly(A) addition site. It is split into 15 exons by 14 intervening sequences which are symmetrically placed within the three domains of albumin. The 5' region is highly conserved up to position -250 and contains the putative TATA (-32) and CAT (-88) boxes. A consensus 5' splice sequence reads /GTAGAGT while the 3' splice sequence is pyrimidine rich and contains CTAG/ at the splice junction. The gene contains three polyadenylation signals, and this 3' region presumably arose by triplication of a shorter fragment prior to mammalian radiation. The albumin gene exhibits a high degree of DNA polymorphism and appears to have been recently invaded by Alu repetitive sequences.