We cloned a rat ABO homologue and established human A- and B-transferase transgenic rats. A DNA fragment corresponding to exon 7 of the human ABO gene was amplified from Wistar rat genomic DNA and sequenced. Using the amplified fragments as a probe for Southern blotting, multiple hybridized bands appeared on both EcoRI- and BamHI-digested genomes of seven rat strains, which showed variations in the band numbers among the strains. Four cDNAs were cloned from a Wistar rat, three of which showed A-transferase activity and one of which showed B-transferase activity. These activities were dependent on the equivalent residues at 266 and 268 of human ABO transferase. Wild Wistar rats expressed A-antigen in salivary gland, intestine, and urinary bladder tissue, but B-antigen was not stained in any organs studied, whereas a transcript from the ABO homologue with B-transferase activity was ubiquitous. Human A-transferase and B-transferase were transferred into Wistar rats. A-transgenic rats expressed A-antigen in ectopic tissue of the brain plexus, type II lung epithelium, pancreas, and epidermis. B-antigen in the B-transgenic rat was expressed in the same organs as A-transgenic rats. These results may shed light on the function and evolution of the ABO gene in primates.