The genomic copy multiplicity of the CCAAT transcription complex component enhancer factor I subunit A (EFIA) has been examined. When a mammalian genomic Southern blot was hybridized to a rat EFIA cDNA, a complex pattern consisting of numerous related sequences was found in all the species examined, with Bos taurus being the least complex. An EFIA#1 cDNA from Bos taurus was isolated from a primary lung endothelial cell cDNA library by screening with the 1489-bp rat EFIA cDNA. The deduced bovine EFIA#1 amino acid (aa) sequence is 98% identical to rat EFIA and 100% identical to human EFIA/DbpB/YB-1 family member DNA-binding protein B (DbpB). In addition, a processed EFIA pseudogene from Bos taurus, designated bovine psi EFIA#1, was obtained from a genomic library by screening with a rat EFIA cDNA probe. The bovine psi EFIA#1 gene has an ORF which, if expressed, would encode a 140-aa sequence, with aa 31-140 having 84% identity to bovine EFIA#1. The genomic cloning data indicate that processed pseudogenes are partially responsible for the complexity of the EFIA genomic Southern blots. The phenomenon of 'repeat induced point mutation' (ripping) at bovine psi EFIA#1 gene CpG dinucleotides occurs at a 6.5-fold higher frequency than expected from random mutagenesis. Therefore, ripping is likely to be the mechanism by which the bovine EFIA#1 pseudogene's ectopic recombination potential was inactivated.