The homeobox gene Chick-en, sharing homologies to the engrailed gene of Drosophila, is expressed, during early steps of development, in a restricted area of the chick embryo including mes-metencephalic neuroepithelia. The expression of the Chick-en gene has been analyzed in chick/quail chimeric embryos in which a portion of the 2-day-old mes-metencephalic neuroepithelium has been transplanted in an inverted position. By means of a monoclonal antibody, "Mab 4D9," recognizing engrailed proteins, it is shown that the expression of the Chick-en gene is regulated in the inverted neuroepithelium according to its new position in the host neural tube. The regulation takes place within 20 hr after transplantation. These results, together with previous data demonstrating that the phenotypic expression of the inverted neuroepithelium depends, also, on its new position in the host neural tube, strongly suggest that the engrailed protein could play an important role in the positional specification of the mes-metencephalic neuroepithelium.