Mice carrying a homozygous germ-line mutation in the nm23-M1 gene that eliminates its protein expression and drives expression of beta-galactosidase by nm23-M1 promoter have been generated. nm23-M1 gene inactivation is not teratogenic and the pups can grow to adult age without apparent health problems. However, they undergo a growth retardation and knocked out females cannot feed their pups. Both effects are background dependent. Beta-galactosidase mapping of nm23-M1 promoter activation during embryogenesis shows that the nm23-M1 gene is principally expressed in epithelial layer of tissues which require inductive epithelial-mesenchymal interactions for their formation. In conclusion, invalidated mice could be interesting models to analyze the role of nm23-M1 on signal transduction pathway regulation, or cancer induction and proliferation.