Aspartate aminotransferase is a pyridoxal-phosphate dependent enzyme which plays a key role in cell metabolism. We describe the cloning and sequence analysis of the cDNA encoding bovine mitochondrial aspartate aminotransferase and compare the sequence with those of isoenzymes from other mammalian species. An adult bovine heart cDNA library constructed in lambda lambda gt11 was screened using two 32P-end labeled synthetic oligonucleotides. From the screening of the cDNA library two positive clones were isolated. A subclone in pEMBL18, 6B2, generated from the longest recombinant phage was further analyzed. This clone contains an insert of 2500 bp with an Open Reading Frame of 1287 bp that encodes a protein of 430 amino acids. The deduced amino acid sequence confirms previous results obtained by mass spectrometric sequencing. We calculated the percentage of amino acid identity for each protein pair and for each comparison the average number of amino acid substitution per site (Kaa); the lowest Kaa values were obtained from the comparison between the bovine and pig enzymes. This study shows that the rate of evolution of mammalian mitochondrial AspAT is lower and more constant than the equivalent cytosolic enzyme and adds to the growing body of knowledge on the evolution of the aspartate aminotransferase.