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Allograft inflammatory factor 1 (AIF-1) is a highly conserved gene involved in inflammation, cloned and characterized in several evolutionary distant animal species. Here, we report the molecular identification, characterization and expression of AIF-1 from the common sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus. In this species, AIF-1 encodes a predicted 151 amino acid protein with high similarity to vertebrate AIF-1 proteins. Immunocytochemical analyses on coelomocytes reveal localization of the AIF-1 protein in amoebocytes (perinuclear cytoplasmic zone) and red sphaerulocytes (inside granules), but not in vibratile cells and colorless sphaerula cells. The significant increase of AIF-1 expression (mRNA and protein) found in the coelomocytes of the sea urchin after Gram + bacterial challenge suggests the involvement of AIF-1 in the inflammatory response. Our analysis on P. lividus AIF-1 contributes to elucidate AIF-1 function along the evolutionary scale and consolidate the key evolutionary position of echinoderms throughout metazoans with respect to the common immune paths.A gene from Paracentrotus lividus encoding the Allograft inflammatory factor1 was identified.Expression of AIF-1 was identified in coelomocytes and changed 24 h after immune challenge.The AIF-1 protein showed different intracellular localization depending on the coelomocytes type.