We have isolated a cDNA (SKv1.1) encoding a Shaker-related K+ channel from an adult cDNA library of the human parasitic trematode Schistosoma mansoni. The deduced amino acid sequence (512 aa, 56.5 kDa) contains 6 putative membrane-spanning domains (S1-S6) and a pore-forming domain (H5). SKv1.1 is grouped in the Shaker family, but forms a unique branch within this family, on the basis of dendrogram analysis. SKv1.1 shows significant sequence identity with most other Shaker channels, with 64-74% identity in the core region (S1-S6). It has the highest sequence identity with the K+ channel (Ak01a) from Aplysia. Northern blot analysis detected a single primary transcript of 2.8 kb. Southern blot analysis indicated that SKv1.1 is present as a single copy in the genomic DNA of S. mansoni. Expression of SKv1.1 in Xenopus oocytes produced a rapidly activating and inactivating outward K+ current which is highly sensitive to 4-aminopyridine, but is insensitive to tetraethylammonium, mast cell degranulating peptide, dendrotoxin and charybdotoxin. The presence of a Shaker homologue in Schistosoma suggests that Sh subfamilies may exist in other lower invertebrates as well as platyhelminths.