We report the complete primary structure of chicken embryo vinculin. The amino acid sequence was derived from the nucleotide sequence of five overlapping cDNA clones isolated from a lambda gt11 phage library. Chicken embryo vinculin contains 1066 amino acids, has a calculated Mr of 116,990, a calculated pI of 5.9, and a hydropathy index of -4.22. A search of the National Biomedical Research Foundation protein sequence data base found no proteins with significant homology to vinculin. A striking feature of the linear sequence is a proline-rich region extending between residues 837 and 879. This region contains 45% proline and 19% aspartic plus glutamic acids; it is also the longest hydrophilic stretch in the molecule. The proline-rich region separates an amino-terminal domain with a calculated pI of 5.4 from a carboxyl-terminal domain with a calculated pI of 9.7. This feature suggests a structural basis for the specific interaction of vinculin with acidic phospholipids and a mechanism for the shuttling of vinculin between cytoplasm and membrane-associated junctional plaque.