A human interleukin 4 (hIL-4)-encoding cDNA (hIL4) probe was used to screen a bovine genomic library, and three clones containing sequences with homology to the human and mouse IL4 cDNAs were isolated. Sequence information obtained from one of these genomic clones was used to design an oligodeoxyribonucleotide primer corresponding to the transcription start point region for use in the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The PCR-RACE protocol, designed for the rapid amplification of cDNA ends, was successfully used to generate a full-length bovine IL4 (bIL4) cDNA clone from polyadenylated RNA isolated from concanavalin A-stimulated bovine lymph node cells. The bIL4 cDNA is 570 bp in length and contains an open reading frame of 405 nucleotides (nt), coding for a 15.1-kDa precursor of 135 amino acids (aa), which should be reduced to 12.6 kDa for unglycosylated bIL4 after cleavage of a putative hydrophobic leader sequence of 24 aa. The aa sequence contains one possible Asn-linked glycosylation site. Bovine IL4 is shorter than mouse (mIL4) and hIL4, because of a 51-nt deletion in the coding region. Comparison of the overall nt and deduced aa sequences shows a greater homology of bIL4 with hIL4 than with mIL4. This homology is not evenly distributed, however, with the nt sequences 5' and 3' of the coding region showing a much greater homology between all three species than the coding sequence.