A 2,037 bp CYP1A1 cDNA (GenBank AF072899) was cloned through screening of a lambda ZipLox cDNA library constructed from the liver of a leaping mullet (Liza saliens) fish captured from Izmir Bay on the Aegean coast of Turkey using rainbow trout CYP1A1 cDNA as a probe. This clone has a 130 bp 5'-flanking region, a 1,563 bp open reading frame (ORF) encoding a 521-amino acid protein (58,972 Da), and a 344 bp 3'-untranslated region without a poly (A) tail. Alignment of the deduced amino acids of CYP1A1 cDNAs showed 58% and 69-96% identities with human and 12 other fish species, respectively. Southern blot analysis suggested that this CYP1A1 cDNA was from a single-copy gene. Based on the comparison with CYP1A1 genes reported for fish and mammals, the leaping mullet CYP1A1 gene is probably split into 7 exons. The intron insertion sites were predicted. Alignment of the CYP1A1 cDNA encoded amino acids from 13 fish and 7 mammalian species disclosed differences in highly conserved amino acids between aquatic and land vertebrates. The possible associated secondary structure; conserved motifs and substrate-binding sites were discussed. The phylogenetic relationships of CYP1A1s among 13 fish species were analyzed by a distance method. (C) 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. J Biochem. Mol Toxicol 15:243-255, 2001.