The platelet glycoprotein complex alphaIIb beta3 is required for platelet-fibrinogen binding and platelet aggregation. This study was designed to characterize the nucleotide sequence of the canine platelet beta3 gene from cDNA. The nucleotide and deduced amino acid sequences of the canine beta3 gene were 92% and 96% homologous, respectively, with the sequences previously established for the beta3 gene of human beings. Within the beta3 gene, the nucleotide sequence of cDNA prepared from canine platelets shared homology of 89% for the cytoplasmic domain, 93% for the transmembrane domain, 92% for the extracellular domain, 94% for the arginine-glycine-aspartic acid (RGD) binding domain, and 97% for the region associated with Ca2+-dependent stabilization of the alphaIIb beta3 fibrinogen-binding pocket. The deduced amino acid sequence of canine beta3 was 100%, 97%, 96%, and 95% homologous with the cytoplasmic, transmembrane, extracellular, and RGD-binding domains, respectively, and was 100% homologous with the region associated with Ca2+-dependent stabilization of the alphaIIb beta3 fibrinogen-binding pocket of beta3 in human beings. The canine platelet cDNA signal peptide segment of the beta3 gene encodes for 22 amino acids, as compared with 26 amino acids previously reported for human beings. The deduced amino acid sequence of canine beta3 corresponds to the high-frequency allelic form for five of the six alloantigenic sites reportedly associated with human platelets: Leu33Leu40Pro407Arg489Arg636. The apparent amino acid residue in position 143 (Pen alloantigen) of canine platelet beta3 is histidine compared with arginine in human beings. Knowledge of the beta3 gene nucleotide sequence of normal dogs will facilitate the understanding of platelet alphaIIb beta3 structure-function relationships.