erm, er81 and pea3 are three related genes that define a novel Ets-related subfamily of transcription factors. The expression patterns of these genes has been previously characterized in the mouse from embryonic day (E) 9.5 to birth (Oncogene 15 (1997) 937). In this study, we report differential expression patterns of the PEA3 group genes during early mouse post-implantation development. erm and pea3 expression patterns were partly overlapping. erm was activated prior to pea3 in the distal tip of the embryonic epiblast but, at primitive streak-stages, both genes were coexpressed in the posterior region of the embryo in epiblast, primitive streak and adjacent mesoderm. Similar erm and pea3 expression patterns were seen later in posterior neural plate, presomitic and lateral mesoderm, mesonephros, and tail bud. Only erm, however, was expressed in specific brain regions corresponding to prospective midbrain and ventral forebrain. erm was also strongly expressed as early as E8 in the developing branchial region, especially at the level of branchial pouches, whereas pea3 transcripts appeared later in frontonasal and first arch mesenchyme. er81 transcripts were not detected prior to E9.0-9.5, suggesting that this gene may not be involved in early developmental events.