The genomic structure of integrins is important to our understanding of the evolution of this complex family. The alpha subunit of the leukocyte integrin p150,95 (CD11c) is a transmembrane polypeptide of 1144 residues whose long extracellular region contains three putative divalent cation binding repeats and a 200- amino acid inserted or "I" domain. The p150,95 alpha subunit gene extends over 25 kilobases and is comprised of at least 31 exons grouped in five clusters. The I domain, which is only present in some integrins and is homologous to domains in von Willebrand factor, cartilage matrix protein, complement factor B and the alpha 1 and alpha 2 chains of collagen type VI, is distributed in four exons. Each one of the three divalent cation binding repeats is encoded by a separate exon. Surprisingly, a sequence homologous to the first two putative divalent cation binding repeats is present in an inverted orientation in the intron following the last exon of the I domain. Both the signal peptide and the transmembrane domain are split in two exons. Putative proteolytic cleavage sequences in other integrin alpha subunits align as inserts within the p150,95 alpha subunit gene falling at exon boundaries. The organization of the p150,95 alpha subunit gene provides further insights into the structure and evolution of the integrins.