[en] The leukocyte integrins play a critical role in a number of cellular adhesive interactions during the immune response. We describe here the isolation and characterization of the ovine beta(2) (CD18) subunit, common to the leukocyte beta(2)-integrin family. The deduced 770-amino-acid sequence reveals a transmembrane protein with 81%, 83% and 95% identity with its murine, human and bovine homologues, respectively. Comparisons of CD18 sequences emphasize the functional importance of the beta(2) subunit I-like domain and included metal ion-dependent adhesion site (MIDAS)-like motif and confirm that of the cytoplasmic tail. The data provided here will offer the possibility to explore new avenues in studies based on the ovine model. (C) 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.