Lysosomal β-galactosidase is required for the degradation of GM1 ganglioside and other glycolipids and glycoproteins with a terminal galactose moiety. Deficiency of this enzyme leads to the lysosomal storage disorder, GM1 gangliosidosis, marked by severe neurodegeneration resulting in premature death. As a step towards preclinical studies for enzyme replacement therapy in an animal model of GM1 gangliosidosis, a feline β-galactosidase cDNA was cloned into a mammalian expression vector and subsequently expressed in Chinese hamster ovary (CHO-K1) cells. The enzyme secreted into culture medium exhibited specific activity on two synthetic substrates as well as on the native β-galactosidase substrate, GM1 ganglioside. The enzyme was purified from transfected CHO-K1 cell culture medium by chromatography on PATG-agarose. The affinity-purified enzyme preparation consisted mainly of the protein with approximate molecular weight of 94 kDa and displayed immunoreactivity with antibodies raised against a 16-mer synthetic peptide corresponding to C-terminal amino acid sequence deduced from the feline β-galactosidase cDNA.