Here we report the cDNA sequence of human Gal beta 1,3(4)GlcNAc alpha 2,3-sialyltransferase. The cDNA was isolated from a human placental cDNA library by screening with a 150bp probe generated by PCR using degenerate primers based on the sequences found in the sialyl motif. Comparative analysis of this cDNA with the rat liver alpha 2,3-sialyltransferase sequence indicates 91% nucleotide similarity between the two sequence in the predicted coding region. On the amino acid level, the degree of conservation is 97%. Surprisingly, Northern analysis indicated that the gene is expressed at low levels in human placenta but is abundantly expressed in skeletal muscle and fetal tissues.