The expression of most Drosophila segmentation genes is not limited to the early blastoderm stage, when the segmental anlagen are determined. Rather, these genes are often expressed in a variety of organs and tissues at later stages of development. In contrast to the early expression, little is known about the regulatory interactions that govern the later expression patterns. Among other tissues, the central gap gene Krüppel is expressed and required in the anlage of the Malpighian tubules at the posterior terminus of the embryo. We have studied the interactions of Krüppel with other terminal genes. The gap genes tailless and huckebein, which repress Krüppel in the central segmentation domain, activate Krüppel expression in the posterior Malpighian tubule domain. The opposite effect on the posterior Krüppel expression is achieved by the interposition of another factor, the homeotic gene fork head, which is not involved in the control of the central domain. In addition, Krüppel activates different genes in the Malpighian tubules than in the central domain. Thus, both the regulation and the function of Krüppel in the Malpighian tubules differ strikingly from its role in segmentation.