Paraxial protocadherin (PAPC) is a cell adhesion molecule that marks cells undergoing convergence-extension cell movements in Xenopus and zebrafish gastrulating embryos. Here a mouse homologue (mpapc) was identified and characterized. During early- to mid-gastrulation, mpapc is expressed in the primitive streak as the trunk mesoderm undergoes morphogenetic cell movements. At head-fold stage mpapc expression becomes localized to paraxial regions in which somites are formed in the segmental plate. At later stages, mpapc displays a complex expression pattern in cerebral cortex, olfactory bulb, inferior colliculus, and in longitudinal stripes in hindbrain. To analyze the effect of the loss of PAPC function during mouse development, a null allele of the mouse papc gene was generated. Homozygous animals show no defects in their skeleton and are viable and fertile.