Regions of the mouse and human genomes with strong homology to the Drosophila engrailed gene have been identified by Southern blot analysis. One mouse engrailed-like region, Mo-en.1, has been cloned and partially sequenced; homology with the engrailed gene is localized to a 180 bp engrailed-like homeo box and 63 nucleotides immediately 3' to it. The protein sequence this region can encode includes 81 amino acids, of which 60 (75%) are identical with those of the putative translation product of the corresponding engrailed sequence. These data suggest that Mo-en.1 represents a mouse homolog of a gene of the Drosophila engrailed gene complex. Mo-en.1 has been mapped to chromosome 1, indicating it is not linked to other homeo box sequences that have been mapped in the mouse genome. Analysis of poly(A)+ RNA extracted from teratocarcinoma cells and whole mouse embryos demonstrates that the conserved homeo box region of Mo-en.1 is expressed differentially during mouse embryogenesis.