The complete exonic and partial intronic sequence of the bovine CYP17 (P45017 alpha) gene has been determined. The gene contains eight exons with exon/intron boundaries which are identical to those determined previously for the human CYP17 gene. The site of initiation of transcription of this gene is located within a 6-base sequence 52 bp from the initiation of translation. Considerable sequence homology (58.7%) is found when approximately 500 bp of the 5'-flanking sequences of the bovine and human CYP17 genes are compared. A computer-based search of this region of bovine CYP17 for consensus sequences associated with binding of transcription factors (i.e., GR, PR, CREB/ATF, AP1, AP2, AP3, AP4, AP5, OTF, CTF/NF1, SP1) shows only the consensus CREB/ATF sequence TGACGT which is also found to be at approximately the same position in the human CYP17 gene. In bovine adrenal cortex, transcription of the CYP17 gene is regulated by the peptide hormone adrenocorticotropin via cAMP. Whether the consensus CREB/ATF sequence is associated with the cAMP-mediated transcription of the CYP17 gene remains to be elucidated.