The cytochrome P450 2B subfamily in the rat contains an estimated eight to eleven members at the genomic level. Synthesis in the liver of the prototypic forms P450 2B1 and P450 2B2 is dramatically induced by phenobarbital. The 1.9-kb mRNA for P450 2B3, a third member of the P450 2B subfamily, is constitutively present in rat liver but is not inducible by phenobarbital. We have now cloned and sequenced exonic sequences corresponding to the entire 2B3 mRNA and determined their exon-intron structure, which is identical to that of CYP2B1/CYP2B2 and other CYP2B genes. A putative CYP2B3 transcription start site was identified and CYP2B3 5'- and 3'-flanking sequences were compared to those of CYP2B1 and CYP2B2. CYP2B3, like CYP2B1 and CYP2B2, has a modified TATA box preceding the transcription start site and lacks the canonical polyadenylation signal preceding the poly(A) site. A 2B3 expression vector, pMT2-2B3, directed the synthesis in COS-1 cells of an approximately 50-kD protein detectable on Western blots with a polyclonal antibody and with one of four monoclonal antibodies raised against 2B1 but not with a polyclonal antibody raised against P450 PB6. The 2B3 protein migrated with a slightly higher electrophoretic mobility than 2B1 and comigrated with a protein detected by anti-2B1 antibodies in liver microsomes from untreated rats. The results indicate that a 2B3-like protein is present in rat liver and that it is distinct from P450 PB6 and other known constitutive rat hepatic P450s.