The brk gene encodes a non-receptor protein tyrosine kinase that consists of single SH3, SH2 and catalytic domains. Although BRK shows strongest sequence similarity to members of the SRC family of PTKs, there are several key structural and regulatory differences that place it on its own amongst non-receptor PTKs. In this study we have isolated genomic DNA clones corresponding to the human brk locus and used these to determine the intron-exon structure of the brk gene. The genomic structure of brk consists of 8 exons, whose boundaries are distinct from other non-receptor PTK family members, again indicating a structural and functional divergence. Alternate splicing of the primary brk transcript generates a distinct mRNA which encodes a truncated protein consisting of an SH3 domain and a novel C-terminal proline rich sequence. Using an antiserum raised to the SH3 domain, we have demonstrated that the product of this alternate brk transcript is expressed in the human breast tumour cell line T-47D. We have previously reported that expression of a tumour derived brk cDNA in mouse embryonic fibroblasts and human mammary epithelial cells supports anchorage independent growth, and in the latter potentiates the mitogenic response to epidermal growth factor. The protein encoded by the genomic sequence derived from normal human tissue is identical to that encoded by the tumour derived cDNA, and therefore the altered growth regulation is not associated with mutations within brk. In addition, we have identified a 5' genomic region that has promoter activity. The brk gene has been assigned to chromosome 20q 13.3 [corrected] using fluorescence in situ hybridisation (FISH).