We have examined genomic sequences and mRNA species hybridizing to a cDNA clone of a yolk sac carcinoma chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan designated PG19. Genomic blot hybridizations with cDNAs covering the majority of the PG19 mRNA sequence revealed 15 to 17 gene fragments. Similar analysis with probes representing either the propeptide or the combined core protein COOH-terminal domain and 3 untranslated sequences revealed single genomic fragments indicating that a single gene codes for the PG19 proteoglycan. Genomic blot analysis with cDNA sequences coding for the serine-glycine repeat of the core protein identified the same gene fragments observed with the entire PG19 cDNA, indicating that this coding region is homologous with sequences present in multiple genes. The same probes were also used to examine mRNA expression. In addition to the PG19 mRNA, several PG19-related mRNAs could be seen. These PG19-related mRNAs had homology with the serine-glycine coding sequence of the PG19 cDNA. These mRNAs may be coding for proteoglycans. The mRNA coding for PG19 appeared to be uniquely expressed in parietal yolk sac and mast cell lineages. The PG19 mRNA existed in different forms in parietal yolk sac and mast cell lines due to cell-type-specific differences in the length of the 5 untranslated sequences. These results indicate that expression of the PG19 proteoglycan gene is regulated both in terms of cell-type-specific transcription and selection of a transcriptional start site.