To understand the function of murine homeobox genes, a genetic analysis is mandatory. We generated gain-of-function mutants by introducing genomic sequences of the Hox-1.1 gene under the control of a chicken beta-actin promoter into mice. Our previous data had shown that these transgenic mice are nonviable after birth and are born with craniofacial abnormalities. In a subsequent detailed analysis of severely affected animals, malformations of the basioccipital bone, the atlas, and the axis were observed. Manifestation of an additional vertebra, a proatlas, occurred at the craniocervical transition. The dominant interference of the Hox-1.1 transgene with developmental programs seems to occur around day 9 of gestation, the time of neural crest migration and somite differentiation. We discuss the resulting phenotype with respect to a developmental control function of Hox-1.1.