The 5' untranslated sequence (5' UTS) of platelet-derived growth factor B (PDGF-B/c-sis) mRNA is highly preserved through evolution, and inhibits translation of downstream coding sequences. In this study, using Northern analysis we identified two PDGF-B/c-sis mRNAs (3.5 kb and 2.6 kb) expressed in normal developing rat brain. In contrast to the constitutive expression of 3.5 kb mRNA, the expression of 2.6 kb mRNA increased markedly in accordance with those stages of brain development at which we had previously demonstrated an increased immunoreactivity for PDGF-B/c-SIS in neurons (Sasahara et al., 1992). By PCR cloning and the RNase protection assay, we determined the complete sequence of rat PDGF-B/c-sis, and found that the 2.6 kb transcript was a form of the 3.5 kb message truncated at the 5' end, and that the predominant 2.6 kb mRNA commenced 15 nt upstream of the signal peptide. Accordingly, it is suggested that the truncation of 5' UTS contributes to the expression of PDGF-B/c-SIS protein in the CNS. Lack of translational inhibitory 5' UTS of PDGF-B/c-sis transcript and resultant efficient protein translation have been reported in only a few transformed cells and cultured umbilical vein endothelial cells. We have extended this knowledge to the developing rat brain, and suggest that a similar mechanism could operate widely in non-transformed tissue in vivo.