A human cDNA clone for dopamine beta hydroxylase (DBH) has been isolated from a phaeochromocytoma library. In situ hybridization of this probe to replication-banded chromosomes has localized the gene to chromosome 9q34. The structural gene for the enzyme is therefore close to the ABO blood group locus. This suggests that the previously described activity variation in levels of serum DBH may reflect alterations in either the structure or regulation of the DBH coding sequences. Both biochemical and genetic evidence therefore indicate independence of DBH from the pterin-dependent aromatic amino acid hydroxylases of the neurotransmitter pathways.

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