Résumé : S-Adenosylmethionine decarboxylase (AdoMetDC) is a ubiquitous enzyme in eukaryotic cells and responds to a wide variety of stimuli affecting growth. To provide a framework for understanding the molecular basis of the mechanisms responsible for regulating the expression of this enzyme activity, we recently cloned and sequenced the rat gene for AdoMetDC. Now we have isolated another, slightly different AdoMetDC gene from a rat genomic library. Comparison of the two genes shows a high degree of conservation of sequence and structural organization. The two genes share the following characteristics: (1) both are approximately 16 kb in size, have identical exon/intron boundaries, and exhibit similar intron/exon structural organization; and (2) the nucleotide sequences are highly conserved in the coding regions and in many introns. Analysis of mouse-rat somatic cell hybrids has localized both rat genes to chromosome 20. The most interesting feature of these genes is that their 5' flanking regions are totally different. The promoter activities of the 5' regulatory regions were assessed by transient gene expression assays in Rat-2 cells after fusion to the chloramphenicol acetyltransferase gene. Transient transfections with the chimeric DNAs demonstrated that these fragments were able to function as efficient promoters, indicating that the diverging 5' regions of two AdoMetDC genes contain functional, but different, regulatory transcription elements.