A cDNA encoding an apolipoprotein (Apo) has been isolated from the Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) and sequenced. It encodes a peptide of 258 amino acids (aa), including a signal peptide of 18 aa, with 5'- and 3'-untranslated regions of the mRNA of 12 and 329 nucleotides, respectively. The protein has structural features in common with other Apo's of human and avian origin, including conserved sequences in the signal peptide and a series of internal repeats of 22 aa. The sequence has been identified as salmon Apo A-I (sApoA-I), and has 23% aa identity with human ApoA-I. Northern-blot analysis using the sApoA-I cDNA probe against total RNA prepared from several salmon tissues detects the expression of this gene in liver, intestine and muscle. A phylogenetic analysis reveals that the mammalian ApoA-I, ApoA-IV and Apo-E aa sequences are more closely related to each other than any of them are to sApoA-I. This suggests that the duplication events, from which A-I, A-IV and E arose, occurred after the divergence of the tetrapod and teleost ancestors.