ATP-binding cassette transporter A1 (ABCA1) modulates plasma levels of high density lipoprotein (HDL), a cardiovascular protecting factor. Tree shrew was considered to be an animal protected from atherosclerosis characterized by high proportion of HDL in plasma. The cDNA clones and expression of tree shrew ABCA1 was identified using SMART-RACE and Real-Time PCR techniques respectively. The nucleotide sequence of tree shrew ABCA1 covered 7,762 bp, including a 6,786 bp coding region which encoded a 2,261 amino acids protein with the high identity to human ABCA1 (95%). Tree shrew ABCA1 was expressed in various tissues, the highest in lung, followed by liver, kidney, spleen and cardiac muscle in turn from high to medium expression levels. This pattern was partially different from that of human ABCA1 which was low in kidney and cardiac muscle. This work could shed new light on its role of ABCA1 in the distinctive HDL metabolism in tree shrew.