Apoptosis is an active process of cell death, which is an integral part of growth and development in multicellular organisms. The defender against cell death 1 (DAD1), the regulatory protein to inhibit the apoptosis process, was first cloned from the bay scallop Argopecten irradians by randomly sequencing a whole tissue cDNA library and rapid amplification of cDNA end (RACE). The full-length cDNA of the A. irradians DAD1 was 607 bp, consist of a 5′-terminal untranslated region (UTR) of 63 bp, a 3′-terminal UTR of 205 bp with a canonical polyadenylation signal sequence AATAAA and a poly (A) tail, and an open reading frame of 339 bp. The deduced amino acid sequence of the A. irradians DAD1 showed 75.5% identity to Araneus ventricosus, 74.5% to Drosophila melanogaster, and 73.6% to Homo sapiens, Sus scrofa, Mesocricetus auratus, Rattus norvegicus and Mus musculus. Excluding the Saccharomyces cerevisiae DAD1 homologue, all animal DAD1 including A. irradians DAD1 homologue formed a subgroup and all plant DAD1 proteins formed another subgroup in the phylogenetic analysis. The A. irradians DAD1 was expressed in all examined tissues including adductor muscle, mantle, gills, digestive gland, gonad and hemolymph, suggesting that A. irradians DAD1 is expressed in most body tissues. Furthermore, the mRNA expression levels of A. irradians DAD1 gene of hemolymph were particularly high after injury, suggesting that the gene is responsive to injury stimuli.