The murine S8 gene, originally identified by Kongsuwan et al. [EMBO J. 7(1988)2131-2138] encodes a homeodomain which resembles those of the paired family. We studied the expression pattern during mid-gestation embryogenesis of S8 by in situ hybridization. Expression was detected locally in craniofacial mesenchyme, in the limb, the heart and the somites and sclerotomes all along the axis, and was absent from the central and peripheral nervous system, splanchnopleure, and endodermal derivatives. This pattern differs considerably from that of most previously described homeobox containing genes. By genetic analysis, the gene was located on chromosome 2, about 20 cM from the HOX-4 cluster.