We have characterized a murine protein kinase gene, rck, which was identified by crosshybridization with sequences from the v-ros tyrosine kinase gene under conditions of reduced stringency. cDNA analysis indicated that rck encodes a putative protein kinase related to the cdc2 subclass of the gene family and that the gene is identical to mak identified previously in the rat. An extensive expression analysis in the mouse performed by a combination of in situ hybridization and RNase protection revealed a novel and restricted pattern of expression: rck transcripts are found in two cell types involved in sensory transduction, photoreceptors and olfactory receptors as well as in epithelia of the respiratory tract and choroid plexus. Specific transcripts are also found in pre- and postmeiotic male germ cells. We suggest therefore that rck participates in signalling pathways important in a distinct set of cells, remarkably among them cells involved in sensory signal transduction.