A cDNA encoding of the serine proteinase inhibitor (serpin), B-43, was cloned from the cDNA library of the bovine brain. It encoded 378 amino acids, and the MW of the protein was estimated to be 42.6 kDa, which is consistent with that of the native B-43 purified from the bovine brain. The homology search revealed that B-43 belongs to the ovalbumin branch of the serpin superfamily. Among them, B-43 was most homologous to human placental thrombin inhibitor (PI-6) and its murine counterpart, with the amino acid identity of 76% and 71%, respectively. Northern blot analysis showed that the size of the transcript was 1.4 kb, and that the expression of B-43 in the bovine brain varied depending on the brain regions, i.e. a lower level of expression was observed in the cerebral cortex and the hippocampus compared to the level of expression that was observed in the medulla oblongata. [35S]-labeled B-43 protein was synthesized in vitro by using a rabbit reticulocyte lysate system, which formed complexes with proteinases such as thrombin, trypsin, alpha-chymotrypsin, and 7S nerve growth factor (NGF), but not with urokinase or plasmin. These results, together with the immunohistochemical localization of B-43 in astrocytes and in some neurons which was observed in the previous study suggest that B-43 may be involved in the regulation of serine proteinases present in the brain or extravasated from the blood.