Abstract Tol2 is a terminal-inverted repeat transposable element of the medaka fish Oryzias latipes. It is one of a few elements of this class so far demonstrated to be active in vertebrates, thus providing a unique tool for establishing a gene tagging system. For the purpose of identifying its transposase, we analyzed the structures of mRNAs originating from the Tol2 element. The results indicated that transcription of Tol2 is initiated at several sites, the four open reading frames in Tol2 roughly corresponding to exons, and that two main forms of mRNAs, covering exons 1–4 and exons 2–4, are present in medaka fish cells. One or both of these mRNAs are likely to encode a transposase, the amino acid sequence of which was deduced.