Abstract Angiopoietin-like protein 4 (Angptl4) is a secretory protein associated with lipid and energy metabolism. In this study, the expression profile of the bovine Angptl4 gene was detected in different Nanyang cattle tissues by quantitative real-time PCR which was found highly expressed in back fat and abdominal adipose. Meanwhile, three SNPs (snp1145, snp1422 and snp5095) were found by DNA sequencing. Pairs linkage disequilibrium analysis and haplotype construction of the Angptl4 gene were conducted in 424 Chinese native cattle. Four different haplotypes (CA, CT, TA and TT) were derived from snp1422 and snp5095. The association analysis between genetic variants identified and partial growth traits showed that the individual with CCTT combined genotype of snp1422 and snp5095 had significantly higher height at withers, body length, hip width and height at hip cross than those with TTTT. The association analysis of snp1422 demonstrated that the individuals of CC genotype were higher in terms of height at withers, body length, heart girth, hip width, height at hip cross and body weight than those with TT. The effect of the combined genotype on conformation traits was consistent with the snp1422. These results suggest that Angptl4 gene might be an important gene of lipid metabolism and may provide basic, useful molecular information for further studies on growth traits in Chinese indigenous yellow cattle.