P450-A and P450-B are electrophoretically defined subsets of cytochrome P450 enzymes in Drosophila melanogaster. P450-A is present among all strains tested, whereas expression of P450-B is associated with resistance to insecticides. Monoclonal antibodies were used to obtain cDNA clones for an enzyme from each P450 subset (i.e., P450-A1 and P450-B1). The P450-B1 cDNA was sequenced and shown to code for a P450 of 507 amino acids. Its gene has been named CYP6A2. Comparative molecular analyses of a pair of susceptible, 91-C, and resistant, 91-R, Drosophila strains were made. There was 20-30 times more P450-B1 mRNA in 91-R than in 91-C, and the small amount of P450-B1 mRNA in 91-C was significantly larger in size than that in 91-R. The P450-B1 gene in 91-R was structurally different from that in 91-C but was not amplified. The P450-B1 gene in 91-C contained a solitary long terminal repeat of transposable element 17.6 in its 3' untranslated region. It was absent in the P450-B1 gene of 91-R. On the basis of features of the long terminal repeat and its location in the gene of the susceptible fly, we propose that a posttranscriptional mechanism involving mRNA stability could be involved in regulating P450-B1 gene expression.