Misalignment between the two elements of the CMT1A-REP binary repeat on chromosome 17p11.2-p12 causes two inherited peripheral neuropathies, Charcot- Marie-Tooth type 1A (CMT1A) and hereditary neuropathy with liability to pressure palsies. This binary repeat contains repetitive DNA elements that include LINES, SINES, medium reiteration frequency repeats, and a transposon- like element. The COX10 gene has been mapped 10 kb centromeric to the distal CMT1A-REP element, and a portion of this gene is present in both the proximal end the distal CMT1A-REP elements. We report the isolation and characterization of a novel cDNA (C170RF1), which maps centromeric to and partially within the proximal CMT1A-REP element. Part of C170RF1 is transcribed from the opposite strand of the COX10 partial gene duplication present in the proximal CMT1A-REP element. This finding shows that C170RF1 and COX10 are being transcribed from opposite strands of identical DNA sequences that are separated by 1.5 Mb in the genome. RT-PCR analysis showed the proximal transcript was expressed in skeletal muscle. Sequence analysis identified an open reading frame encoding a 199-Amino-acid protein. Zoo blot analysis showed that the transcript is conserved in nonhuman primates. The presence of a binary repeat contributes to the instability of this region of chromosome 17, yet two CMT1A-REP elements are present in the chimpanzee and all human populations. The presence of expressed sequences in both elements of the CMT1A-REP binary repeat could explain the maintenance of this repeat in humans.