Midkine (MK) is a product of a retinoic acid-responsive gene and a new heparin-binding growth/differentiation factor. The coding sequence of human MK was located on 1.5 kb DNA segment. The structure of the cloned human MK gene was determined and compared with that of the mouse gene. The coding sequence was divided into 4 exons, and each exon and exon-intron boundary was highly homologous to those of the mouse. Furthermore, 170 bases in the upstream region of the putative transcription initiation sites and 3 blocks of 200-350 bases in regions further upstream were highly conserved. These sequences are likely to be involved in developmentally regulated expression of MK.