Mitochondrial antiviral signaling protein (MAVS), an innate immune signaling adapter coordinates the signals received from two independent cytosolic pathogen recognition receptors (RIG-1 and MDA5) to induce antiviral genes. In the present study the MAVS gene of Lates calcarifer (LcMAVS) was cloned and characterized. The complete cDNA sequence of LcMAVS was 3160 bp and encodes a poly peptide of 577 amino acids. Structural analysis of LcMAVS revealed an N-terminal CARD-like domain, central proline-rich domain and a C-terminal transmembrane domain. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that LcMAVS exhibited the closest relationship to P. olivaceous MAVS. LcMAVS was ubiquitously expressed in all tested tissues of healthy fish viz., brain, gill, heart, liver, spleen, kidney and intestine, with highest transcript level in spleen. The mRNA transcript level of LcMAVS in different developmental stages showed constitutive expression in all the stages tested suggesting the maternal transfer of the gene. Significant up regulation in MAVS expression was observed post nervous necrosis virus (NNV) challenge in vivo in all the selected tissues. Further, time course analysis showed that LcMAVS transcripts significantly increased in the brain and spleen tissues after NNV infection. These findings provide useful information for further elucidating the function of LcMAVS in antiviral innate immune response against NNV in Asian seabass.