The secondary structures of human hY1 and hY5 RNAs were determined using both chemical modification techniques and enzymatic structure probing. The results indicate that both for hY1 and for hY5 RNA the secondary structure largely corresponds to the structure predicted by sequence alignment and computerized energy-minimization. However, some important deviations were observed. In the case of hY1 RNA, two regions forming a predicted helix appeared to be single-stranded. Furthermore, the pyrimidine-rich region of hY1 RNA appeared to be very resistant to reagents under native conditions, although it was accessible to chemical reagents under semi-denaturing conditions. This may point to yet unidentified tertiary interactions for this region of hY1 RNA. In the case of hY5 RNA, two neighbouring internal loops in the predicted structure appeared to form one large internal loop.