Antisecretory factor (AF) was identified as a pituitary protein that inhibits the intestinal fluid secretion induced by cholera toxin. One aim of this study was to elucidate whether AF is also synthesized in the intestine or if AF produced in the pituitary is transported to the intestinal tract for its function there. cDNA clones encoding a protein proposed to be AF were isolated from rat pituitary gland and intestinal mucosa cDNA libraries. The nucleotide sequences of clones isolated from the rat pituitary gland and intestinal mucosa were identical. The deduced amino acid sequence was highly homologous to the sequence for subunit 5a of the human 26S protease that exists abundantly in the cytosol and nucleus. The production of AF in the intestine was confirmed by Northern blot and immunoblot analyses. Immunocytochemical observations of cells transfected with the rat AF cDNA showed that the AF protein was localized in the cytoplasm. These findings suggest that the protein proposed to be AF may be a cytoplasmic protein, it exists in the intestine rather than being transported from the pituitary gland, and it may function in intestinal cells.