Among apolipoproteins, apolipoprotein E (Apo E) plays a pivotal role in lipid transport and is proposed to be involved in neural repair. Because of a long divergence history of apolipoproteins, it is unclear how Apo E evolved in time. To investigate relationships among Apo E proteins, we used the information from molecular data and analysed the phylogeny of Apo E proteins from various species. Several phylogenctic trees were generated by using both character-based and distance-based phylogenetic methods. Apo E sequences of fish and frog were found to be less related to the Apo E sequences of other species. The most likely ancestor of Apo E among 18 organisms was estimated to be the Apo E of frog. Members of the groups formed by the Apo E proteins of various species shared similar feeding habits and diet. It may be suggested that Apo E evolution and very likely the evolution of other apolipoproteins are influenced by the organism's feeding environment and diet. Copyright (C) 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.