ILK (beta1-integrin-linked protein kinase) is a recently identified 59-kDa serine/threonine protein kinase that interacts with the cytoplasmic domain of the beta1-integrin containing four ankyrin-like repeats. We have developed a polyclonal antibody against ILK and explored the ILK immunoreactivity in normal human cells and tissues. ILK was mainly expressed in cardiac muscle and skeletal muscles. Surprisingly, ILK expression was observed in Ewing's sarcoma (ES; 100%), primitive neuroectodermal tumour (PNET; 100%), medulloblastoma (100%), and neuroblastoma (33.3%), whereas other small round cell sarcomas were not stained by the anti-ILK antibody. These results suggest that ILK could be a novel marker for tumours with primitive neural differentiation. Our findings support the notion that ES is a tumour that is closely related to PNET and that both originate from the neuroectoderm. ILK may be a sensitive and specific immunohistochemical marker and useful for the positive identification of ES and PNET in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue sections.