We have isolated a paired-type homeobox gene Dmbx1, previously known as Atx (Development 128 (2001) 4789), from chick and mouse. Sequence similarity reveals that this gene is highly related to the Otxgenes. Expression of Dmbx1 commences during gastrulation, when transcripts are detected in a crescent around the anterior neural plate. As development progresses, Dmbx1 marks the prospective midbrain and pretectum. Dmbx1 shares its caudal border of expression with Otx2, while expression is sharply delimited rostrally by the synencephalic–parencephalic boundary, later becoming restricted to the posterior synencephalon. At later stages, Dmbx1 is expressed in dynamic domains of the hindbrain and spinal cord. Additional sites of expression comprise stomodeal ectoderm and foregut endoderm, presomitic mesoderm, and the nasal pit.