Fragile X syndrome is associated with massive expansion of a CGG trinucleotide repeat within the FMR-1 gene and transcriptional silencing of the gene due to abnormal methylation. Partial cDNA sequence of the human FMR-1 has been reported. We report here the isolation and characterization of cDNA clones encoding the murine homologue, fmr-1, which exhibit marked sequence identity with the human gene, including the conservation of the CGG repeat. A conserved ATG downstream of the CGG repeat in human and mouse and an in-frame stop codon in other human 5' cDNA sequences demarcate the FMR-1 coding region and confine the CGG repeat to the 5' untranslated region. We also present evidence for alternative splicing of the FMR-1 gene in mouse and human brain and show that one of these splicing events alters the FMR-1 reading frame, predicting isoforms with novel carboxy termini.