We describe here the cloning, expression and characterisation of centaurin-alpha2 from a rat adipocyte cDNA library. The centaurin-alpha2 cDNA contains an open reading frame, which codes for a protein of 376 amino acids with predicted mass of 43.5 kDa. Centaurin-alpha2 shares 51-59% identity with centaurin-alpha1 proteins and has the same domain organisation, consisting of a predicted N-terminal ArfGAP domain followed by two successive pleckstrin homology domains. Despite the sequence similarity, there are a number of notable differences between the previously characterised centaurin-alpha1 proteins and the newly described centaurin-alpha2: (i) in vitro lipid binding experiments with centaurin-alpha2 do not reveal the same selectivity for phosphatidylinositol 3,4,5-trisphosphate over phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate that has been shown for centaurin-alpha1; (H) unlike centaurin-alpha1 which is expressed mainly in the brain, centaurin-alpha2 has a broad tissue distribution, being particularly abundant in fat, heart and skeletal muscle; (iii) in contrast to centaurin-alpha1 which is found in both membrane and cytosolic fractions, endogenous centaurin-alpha2 is exclusively present in the dense membrane fractions of cell extracts, suggesting a constitutive membrane association. Insulin stimulation, which stimulates phosphatidylinositol 3,4,5-trisphosphate production, does not alter the subcellular distribution of centaurin-alpha2 between adipocyte membrane fractions. This observation is consistent with the lack of specificity of centaurin-alpha2 for phosphatidylinositol 3,4,5-trisphosphate over phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate.