We report the isolation and characterization of a cDNA encoding an HNF-3 family member (as HNF-3) from Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L). The important functional domains of HNF-3 proteins that have been characterized previously are revealed by segments of high identity along the alignment of the asHNF-3 with winged helix/forkhead amino acid sequences isolated from other species. A comparison of asHNF-3 cDNA and genomic DNA indicated that there were no introns present in the asHNF-3 gene. Expression of asHNF-3 protein in adult salmon tissues was not exclusive to liver but was also present in the pancreas and intestine. An RT-PCR analysis performed on salmon development showed that asHNF3 expression is detectable before gastrulation at the mid blastula transition stage. Functional analysis of the asHNF-3 protein using a characterized HNF-3 consensus binding site demonstrated that the protein can recognize and bind to specific HNF-3 consensus sequences. We also report the identification of a novel HNF3 binding site in the promoter of the Atlantic salmon transferrin gene.