The A mating type factor of the fungus Coprinus cinereus regulates essential steps in sexual development. Here we describe features of one of the four specificity genes of the A42 factor. By transformation we show that the gene regulates not only sexual development but also asexual sporulation. DNA sequence analysis shows that the gene beta 1-1, encodes a protein with a DNA binding motif and is thus likely to be a transcription factor. The DNA binding domain is an unusual homeodomain with D replacing the normally invariant N in the recognition helix and apparent absence of helix II. The homeodomain is linked to a helical region related to the POUs domain, which is part of a bipartite DNA binding domain of certain animal transcription factors. Like POU factors, the beta 1-1 protein has regions rich in serine, threonine and proline which are possible transactivation domains. Putative dimerization domains and sites for post-translational modification are described.