daf-16 is a forkhead-type transcription factor, functioning downstream of insulin-like signals, and is known to be critical to the regulation of life span in Caenorhabditis elegans. Mammalian DAF-16 homologues include AFX, FKHR and FKHRL1, which contain a conserved forkhead domain and three putative phosphorylation sites for the Ser/Thr kinase Akt/protein kinase B (PKB), as well as for DAF-16. To assess the function of the homologues, we examined tissue distribution patterns of mRNAs for DAF-16 homologues in mice. In the embryos, expressions of AFX, FKHR and FKHRL1 mRNAs were complementary to each other and were highest in muscle, adipose tissue and embryonic liver. The characteristic expression pattern remained in the adult, except that signals of FKHRL1 became evident in more tissues, including the brain. In order to clarify whether each DAF-16 homologue had different target genes, we determined the consensus sequences for the binding of DAF-16 and the mouse homologues. The binding sequences for all four proteins shared a core sequence, TTGTTTAC, daf-16 family protein-binding element (DBE) binding protein. However, electrophoretic mobility shift assay showed that the binding affinity of DAF-16 homologues to the core sequence was stronger than that to the insulin-responsive element in the insulin-like growth factor binding protein-1 promoter region, which has been identified as a binding sequence for them. We identified one copy of the DBE upstream of the first exon of sod-3 by searching the genomic database of C. elegans. Taken together, DAF-16 homologues can fundamentally regulate the common target genes in insulin-responsive tissues and the specificity to target genes of each protein is partially determined by the differences in their expression patterns.