We have cloned a newly identified gene, designated CiNut, C iona i ntestinalis neural-tube-specific gene. CiNut shows weak similarity to known neural receptors such as adrenergic receptors. Moreover, seven transmembrane domains are predicted based on its amino acid sequence. Zygotic expression of CiNut starts at the gastrula stage, and is restricted to the entire neural tube in the neurula- and the tailbud-stage embryos. CiNut is thus thought to be a novel G-protein-coupled receptor important for neural tube formation, and should provide a useful tool for the analysis of the molecular mechanism of neural tube formation.