The Xenopus laevis alpha-tropomyosin (TM) gene, like its vertebrates counterparts, encodes muscle and non-muscle isoforms through two promoters and alternatively spliced exons. In the present study we describe a cDNA clone (XTMalpha7) encoding a skeletal muscle isoform of the gene that differs from the previously described skeletal TM transcript (XTMalpha2) by its 3'UTR sequence. The two skeletal alpha-TM encoding mRNAs are generated through distinct 3'end processing using different polyA signals and distinct patterns of exon splicing. Using RNAse protection and RNA in situ hybridization, we have analysed the developmental and spatial expression of the two transcripts. Both are expressed in the embryo, but XTMalpha7 is by far the most prevalent of the two. In contrast, only XTMalpha2 is expressed in adult striated muscle tissues. In the embryo, the spatial expression of XTMalpha7 is restricted to the somites whereas XTMalpha2 is expressed in both somites and embryonic heart.