Mutations at the Dox-A2 (2-53.9) locus alter the A2 component of diphenol oxidase, an enzyme having an important role in cuticle formation. This locus is in the dopa decarboxylase, Df(2L)TW130 region, which contains a cluster of at least 14 genes involved in catecholamine metabolism and the formation, sclerotization and melanization of cuticle in Drosophila. The region is subdivided by deficiencies, and localization of breakpoints in cloned DNA reveals a dense subcluster of six genes in the 23 kb proximal to Ddc. Five lethal loci distal to Ddc comprise a second such subcluster. The proximal breakpoints of deficiencies Df(2L)hk18 and Df(2L)OD15 define a 14.3- to 16.8-kb region containing Dox-A2 and l(2)37Bb, and those of Df(2L)OD15 and Df(2L)TW203 define a 9.3- to 12.1-kb region containing l(2)37Ba, l(2)37Bc and l(2)37Be. Southern blots show two of the Dox-A2 mutations are small deletions (0.1 and 1.1 kb). The Dox-A2 locus mRNA is 1.7 kb. cDNA clones indicate that the 3' end is centromere proximal and that the coding region contains at least one small intron. The Dox-A2 locus is within 3.4 to 4.4 kb of the Df(2L)OD15 breakpoint, placing four of the vital loci within a maximum of 15.5 kb. The location of Dox-A2 in a cluster of genes affecting cuticle formation is discussed.