Osteoclast differentiation factor (ODF), a ligand for osteoclastogenesis inhibitory factor (OCIF)/ osteoprotegerin (OPG), is a member of the membrane-associated tumor necrosis factor (TNF) family and induces osteoclast-like cell formation in vitro. In the present study, mouse ODF genomic clones were isolated and sequenced to determine their gene structure. The mouse ODF gene is a single copy gene consisting of five exons and spans approximately 40kb of the mouse genome. The first exon encodes the intracellular and transmembrane domains. The extracellular region of ODF containing the TNF homologous domain is encoded by exons 1 through 5. The translation-termination codon and six polyadenylation signal residues are present in exon 5. A major transcription-initiation site is present 143 nucleotides upstream of the initiation-ATG codon. This genomic organization is similar to that of other members of the TNF family, especially the CD40 ligand.