We report here the cloning of the cDNA coding for platelet connective tissue-activating peptide-III (CTAP-III) from a lambda gt11 expression library prepared using messenger RNA (mRNA) isolated from human platelets. The open reading frame of the clone coded for a protein with 128 amino acid residues. Since the precursor of CTAP-III, platelet basic protein (PBP is 94 amino acids long, the 5′-translated region of the cDNA codes for a leader sequence 34 amino acids long. This leader sequence, like the sequence of mature CTAP-III, shows significant homology to the sequence of platelet factor 4 (PF4), the only other platelet specific alpha-granule protein cloned until now, from a human erythroleukemic (HEL) cell line-derived cDNA library. These leader sequences are probably critical for targeting such proteins to the alpha-granule. Northern blot hybridization with platelet and megakaryocyte mRNA shows a single species mRNA of approximately 0.8 kb, suggesting that the corresponding cDNA is full length. The cloning of platelet specific CTAP-III provides additional evidence for the platelet specificity of the cDNA library used.