The human ron gene codes for a transmembrane protein tyrosine kinase which is a receptor for the macrophage stimulating protein. The ron receptor, together with the hepatocyte growth factor/scatter factor receptor encoded by the proto-oncogene met, and the product of the c-sea proto-oncogene, make up a family of structurally related receptors. We have cloned murine ron cDNA sequences and used them as probes for in situ hybridization and Northern blot experiments. We show that ron gene expression occurs relatively late in development, and is much more restricted than that of the met gene. ron gene expression is detected in specific areas of the central and the peripheric nervous system, as well as in discrete cells in developing bones, and in the glandular epithelia along the digestive tract. © 1995 wiley-Liss, Inc.