The growth plate is a specialised region of cartilage located at the growing ends of long bones in higher vertebrates. It is responsible for longitudinal bone growth and is under the control of many local and systemic factors. The growth plate consists of an orderly arrangement of small proliferative and larger mature hypertrophic chondrocytes. This paper describes the isolation by differential display of a 988-bp cDNA fragment derived from a transcript that is more highly expressed in proliferating rather than hypertrophic chondrocytes of the chick growth plate. Using 3' RACE, a further 939 bp of cDNA sequence was obtained. The 1.9 kb sequence contains a 924-bp open reading frame encoding an unknown 308 amino acid protein. This protein has a putative transmembrane domain near its N-terminus and three dileucine motifs at its carboxy tail. This gene was expressed in all other tissues examined. A polymorphism was identified by SSCP analysis and the gene was mapped to the centromeric region of the short arm of chicken chromosome 1, close to the locus for autosomal dwarfism.