CDK-2, a member of the cyclin-dependent kinase family, plays an important role in many cell processes, such as cell cycle regulation, cell growth and differentiation, and cell apoptosis. Lampreys belong to the most primitive vertebrates, and there is no report about the CDK-2 gene in lampreys at present. In this study, a CDK-2-like gene sequence and deduced amino acid sequence were identified in Japanese lamprey (Lampetra japonica, L. japonica). The CDK-2-like gene has about 80% similarity with its homologs in jaw vertebrates. The polyclonal antibody against CDK-2-like was well prepared, and the results showed that CDK-2-like was highly expressed in the gonad tissue of lampreys. Apoptosis could reduce the expression of CDK-2-like in lymphocytes of lamprey, while overexpression of CDK-2-like could inhibit apoptosis. In addition, inhibition of CDK-2-like activity was able to trigger out apoptosis and also helped apoptotic inducer actinomycin D (Act-D) to induce apoptosis. These results suggest that CDK-2-like identified from lamprey may play a crucial role in apoptosis of jawless vertebrates.