Dystrophin is a very large muscle protein (approximately 400 kd) the deficiency of which is responsible for Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Its function is unknown at present. In order to know whether different domains of the protein are differentially conserved during evolution, we have cloned and sequenced the chicken dystrophin cDNA. The protein coding sequence has almost the same size as in man. The N-terminal region that resembles the actin binding domain of alpha actinin, as well as the large spectrin like domain show 80% and 75% conservation respectively between chicken and man. In contrast, the C-terminal region shows 95% identity over 627 aa suggesting that it is an important region of interaction with other proteins. Comparison of the amino acid sequence of this C-terminal region to other protein sequences shows only marginally significant similarities. Finally we have found a striking conservation of three segments of the 3' untranslated sequence (85% homology over a total of 920 nt) between chicken and man. These also appear to be conserved in other mammals. This high conservation is not linked to open reading frames.