Midkine is a heparin-binding growth factor with survival-promoting and migration-enhancing activities. In order to understand the regulation of midkine signaling, we isolated midkine-binding proteoglycans from day 13 mouse embryos, when midkine is intensely expressed. Deglycosylation followed by SDS/PAGE revealed various protein bands; one of these was identified as PG-M/versican by in gel trypsin digestion and sequencing the resulting peptides. PG-M/versican isolated from day 13 mouse embryos bound midkine with a Kd of 1.0 nM. Pleiotrophin/heparin-binding growth-associated molecule, which has a structure related to midkine, was also bound similarly. Digestion with chondroitinase ABC, AC-I or B abolished the binding to midkine. Heparin as well as chondroitin sulfate D and E inhibited the binding. After chondroitinase ABC digestion, the midkine-binding PG-M/versican released 4-sulfated, 6-sulfated, 2, 6-disulfated and 4,6-disulfated unsaturated disaccharides. These results suggest that midkine binds to a polysulfated domain in the chondroitin sulfate chain with a region of dermatan sulfate structure. This proteoglycan may modulate the midkine activity, as binding to midkine can enhance midkine action by concentrating it to the cell periphery or inhibit the action by competing with the binding to a signaling receptor.