Midkine is a basic, low molecular-weight protein, and belongs to growth factors or cytokines. Midkine plays important roles in development and is strongly expressed during midgestation. In the adult, its expression is restricted to certain tissues. However, midkine expression is strongly induced during oncogenesis, inflammation and repair. Midkine promotes cell survival and cell migration, and is deeply involved in cancer progression, the onset of inflammatory diseases and the preservation and repair of injured tissues.
Midkine is expected to become a therapeutic to prevent cell death. Simultaneously, midkine may become a molecular target for the treatment of cancer and inflammatory diseases. Midkine could also be used as a tumor marker. The midkine structure is shown in Fig.1. This web page provides up-to-date information on midkine.