The small intestine is the major portal of entry of ingested xenobiotics. Previous studies from this and other laboratories indicated that at least 6 of the 33 xenobiotic metabolizing forms of P450 currently identified are expressed in rat small intestinal epithelial cells. In the present study, a previously unidentified rat P450, designated CYP2J4, was identified in rat small intestine using PCR. The full-length CYP2J4 cDNA contains an open reading frame for a protein of 501 residues and is 72.5 and 75.8% identical to rabbit CYP2J1 and human CYP2J2, respectively, in deduced amino acid sequences. The coding region of CYP2J4 cDNA has been cloned into a baculoviral expression vector (pVL1392) and expressed in cultured Spodoptera frugiperta (SF9) cells. The heterologously expressed CYP2J4 protein displayed a typical p450 CO-difference spectrum, with maximum absorbance at 449 nm. When purified to near electrophoretic homogeneity, it was active toward arachidonic acid in a reconstituted system with NADPH-P450 reductase and phospholipid, producing both hydroxyeicosatetraenoic and epoxyeicosatrienoic acids. RNA blot analysis with CYP2J4 cDNA as a probe detected two mRNA species, about 2.0 and 2.4 kb, respectively, in RNA preparations from liver, intestine, olfactory mucosa, kidney, heart, and lung. The 2.0-kb mRNA species was abundant in liver, small intestine, and olfactory mucosa, whereas the 2.4-kb mRNA species was predominant only in the olfactory mucosa. Immunoblot analysis of microsomal fractions from different rat tissues with a polyclonal anti-peptide antibody to CYP2J4 detected a protein with the same electrophoretic mobility as purified CYP2J4 most abundantly in small intestine and to a lesser extent in liver and other immunoreactive proteins with slightly higher electrophoretic mobility than purified CYP2J4 in a number of tissues, including small intestine, liver, kidney, lung, and olfactory mucosa. The predominant distribution of CYP2J4, which has activity toward arachidonic acid, is provocative, but its physiological function is as yet unknown.