The murine 1C11 cell line, derived from F9 pluripotent teratocarcinoma cells, exhibits features of a bipotential neuronal precursor as it converts into serotonergic or catecholaminergic neurons under appropriate induction. In order to point out molecular markers expressed in this early neuroectodermic commitment, we used a cDNA subtractive hybridization method. The 105 different isolated cDNAs represented 75 known genes, expressed sequence tags (EST) or genomic fragments. A majority of known proteins encoded by these sequences are involved in cellular mobility or migration. We characterized two sequences showing identities with ESTs and we called them Noxp20 and Noxp70. The Noxp20 transcript encodes a putative protein with a predicted caspase recruitment domain and the Noxp70 transcript encodes a putative protein displaying a Zn-finger domain. Consistent with their roles in neuronal cell development, in situ hybridization showed that Noxp20 and Noxp70 are over-expressed in brain. At embryonic days 12 and 15, Noxp20 is strongly expressed in the ventricular and intermediate zones of the brain and of the spinal cord. At embryonic day 15, Noxp70 was found to be strongly expressed in the ventricular zone around the telencephalic ventricle, and to a lower extent in the thalamus and hypothalamus. At post-natal day 10, Noxp20 mRNA was detected in the dentate gyrus, the hippocampus, the cerebellum and the olfactory bulb.