We have cloned a functional cDNA encoding the cyclic nucleotide-gated channel selectively expressed in catfish olfactory sensory neurons. The cyclic nucleotide-gated channels share sequence and structural features with the family of voltage-gated ion channels. This homology is most evident in transmembrane region S4, the putative voltage sensor domain, and the H5 domain, thought to form the channel pore. We have characterized the single-channel properties of the cloned catfish channel and compared these properties with the channel in native catfish olfactory sensory neurons. The channel is activated equally well by cAMP and cGMP, shows only a slight voltage dependence of gating, and exhibits a pH- and voltage-dependent subconductance state similar to that observed for the voltage-gated L-type calcium channel.