Sequence information obtained by NH2-terminal sequence analysis of two molecular weight forms (45 and 48 kDa) of the porcine Gal beta 1,3GalNAc alpha 2,3-sialyltransferase was used to clone a full-length cDNA of the enzyme. The cDNA sequence revealed an open reading frame coding for 343 amino acids and a putative domain structure consisting of a short NH2-terminal cytoplasmic domain, a signal-anchor sequence, and a large COOH-terminal catalytic domain. This domain structure was confirmed by construction of a recombinant sialyltransferase in which the cytoplasmic domain and signal-anchor sequence of the enzyme was replaced with the cDNA of insulin signal sequence. Expression of the resulting construct in COS-1 cells produced an active sialyltransferase which was secreted into the medium in soluble form. Comparison of the cDNA sequence of the sialyltransferase with GenBank produced no significant homologies except with the previously described Gal beta 1,4GlcNAc alpha 2,6-sialyltransferase. Although the cDNA sequences of these two enzymes were largely nonhomologous, there was a 45-amino acid sequence which exhibited 65% identity. This observation suggests that the two sialyltransferases were derived, in part, from a common gene.