We performed pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) on genomic DNA from a radiation hybrid (RH) cell line and constructed a high-resolution physical map of the major histocompatibility complex class I region in 6p21.3, where the gene for primary hemochromatosis (HFE) is believed to be located. Due to the intact microsegment of hemizygous human genomic DNA preserved in the RH cell line, simplified and distinct restriction fragment banding patterns were generated. Using the RH cell line, we were able to extend the physical map of the HLA class I region to about 3000 kb, order the known HLA class I genes from centromere to telomere: HLA-B, -C, -E, (-A, -H, -G), and -F, and orient the HLA-F gene along the chromosome. The proximity of HLA-F to HLA-A was confirmed by linkage and linkage disequilibrium analysis. This study shows that RH cell lines can be useful for constructing long-range physical maps in specific regions of the human genome with PFGE. Physical and genetic mapping studies of this region are consistent with a localization of the HFE gene proximal or distal to HLA-A.