We have isolated and sequenced cDNA clones encoding a 90-kDa heat shock protein (HSP90) from a porcine brain cDNA library. The sequence of the 2202-nucleotide coding region showed 88.6% homology with that of the human homologue. Moreover, the deduced amino acid sequence of the porcine hsp90 cDNA was 99.7% identical to that of the human counterpart, with a difference of only three amino acids in a total of 733 residues. Expression of the gene was greatly increased in cultured cells during recovery from heat shock treatment at 45 degrees C for 60 min. Three major transcripts 2.2, 3.0, and 4.1kb in size were detected by Northern blot hybridization. These transcripts were further identified in a whole-pig hyperthermia experiment. These three hsp90 transcripts were constitutively expressed in porcine tissues including kidney, liver, brain, and heart, and their levels were markedly enhanced during recovery from 30-min hyperthermia treatment at 43 degrees C. Furthermore, we found that HSP90 was preferentially expressed in pituitary gland, brain, adrenal gland, and testis, in comparison to the other tissues.