Calbindin D28 cDNA clones were isolated from a rat brain library using a chicken intestinal Calbindin D28 cDNA probe. Nucleotide sequence analysis of these clones shows an open reading frame of 78 nucleotide coding for a 261 amino acid 29,994 dalton protein. The predicted amino acid sequence contains six repeats of a domain with the feature of an EF-hand calcium binding site. In domains II and VI, two of the five oxygen-containing amino acids important for the coordination of calcium are absent, suggesting that these two sites have lost their calcium-binding capability. Comparing the amino acid sequence to that recently reported for the chicken Calbindin D28 there is 79% homology. Tolerating conservative differences, the homology increases to 93%. Interestingly, domains II and VI which have presumably lost their calcium binding ability are very conserved among the two species (81% and 78%, respectively). Since an EF hand calcium binding site requires only certain types of amino acids at certain positions, rather than a specific amino acid sequence, maintaining a calcium binding site is a weak conservation pressure. To explain the high degree of homology of rat and chicken Calbindin D28, and in particular the conservation of the two degenerated domains over the 300 million years since divergence of birds and mammals, additional function(s) of the Calbindin D28 are postulated.