A cDNA clone encoding an anionic form of bovine trypsinogen was isolated from a pancreatic cDNA library. The corresponding 855-nucleotide mRNA contains a short 5' noncoding region of 8 nucleotides and a long 3' noncoding region of 56 nucleotides in addition to a poly(A) tail of at least 50 nucleotides. The deduced amino acid sequence for the anionic pretrypsinogen (247 residues) includes the N-terminal 15-amino-acid signal peptide followed by an 8-amino-acid activation peptide. The zymogen (232 residues) contains an additional C-terminal serine, compared with the amino acid sequence of bovine cationic trypsinogen. The identity between the anionic and cationic forms of bovine trypsinogen (65%) is lower than that existing between the anionic protein and other mammalian anionic trypsinogens (73-85%), suggesting that trypsin gene duplication in mammals occurred prior to the evolutionary events responsible for the species divergence. Bovine pancreatic anionic trypsin possesses all the key amino acids characteristic of the serine protease family.