Tissue factor (TF) is a transmembrane glycoprotein that serves as the cofactor for the initiation of the coagulation protease cascades. To identify conserved sequences of this molecule, a 1753-nucleotide cDNA encoding rabbit TF (rbTF) was isolated and sequenced. An open reading frame encoded a predicted precursor protein of 292 amino acids (aa), and a functionally active protein was synthesized when this cDNA was expressed in a eukaryotic cell system. The aa sequence of mature rbTF was 71% identical to human TF (huTF) and 58% to murine TF (muTF), consistent with the relative functional activity of each in human plasma. The structural organization of the protein was comparable in all three species, with a high degree of conservation of the extracellular domain, including the relative positions of cysteine residues and, to a lesser extent, the tripeptide motifs tryptophan-lysine-serine of huTF. In view of the uniform occurrence of TF functional activity throughout vertebrates, the sampling of these three distant mammalian species suggests that there is limited variance in primary sequence, consistent with the conserved function of TF.