Cytochrome P450 family 1 (CYP1) proteins are important in a large number of toxicological processes. CYP1A and CYP1B genes are well known in mammals, but the evolutionary history of the CYP1 family as a whole is obscure; that history may provide insight into endogenous functions of CYP1 enzymes. Here, we identify CYP1-like genes in early deuterostomes (tunicates and echinoderms), and several new CYP1 genes in vertebrates (chicken, Gallus gallus and frog, Xenopus tropicalis). Profile hidden Markov models (HMMs) generated from vertebrate CYP1A and CYP1B protein sequences were used to identify 5 potential CYP1 homologs in the tunicate Ciona intestinalis genome. The C. intestinalis genes were cloned and sequenced, confirming the predicted sequences. Orthologs of 4 of these genes were found in the Ciona savignyi genome. Bayesian phylogenetic analyses group the tunicate genes in the CYP1 family, provisionally in 2 new subfamilies, CYP1E and CYP1F, which fall in the CYP1A and CYP1B/1C clades. Bayesian and maximum likelihood analyses predict functional divergence between the tunicate and vertebrate CYP1s, and regions within CYP substrate recognition sites were found to differ significantly in position-specific substitution rates between tunicates and vertebrates. Subsequently, 10 CYP1-like genes were found in the echinoderm Strongylocentrotus purpuratus (sea urchin) genome. Several of the tunicate and echinoderm CYP1-like genes are expressed during development. Canonical xenobiotic response elements are present in the upstream genomic sequences of most tunicate and sea urchin CYP1s, and both groups are predicted to possess an aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR), suggesting possible regulatory linkage of AHR and these CYPs. The CYP1 family has undergone multiple rounds of gene duplication followed by functional divergence, with at least one gene lost in mammals. This study provides new insight into the origin and evolution of CYP1 genes.