A full understanding of the function of genes that control developmental events can be obtained only by a combination of molecular and mutational analysis. One putative developmental gene is the mouse engrailed-like gene En-2, which was isolated by virtue of its extensive homology to Drosophila engrailed, which contributes to the control of segmentation in the developing insect. Our hybridization analysis in situ has revealed that expression of En-2 is restricted to a specific domain of the developing central nervous system from 8 days of development on, indicating a role for the gene in establishing spatial domains in the brain. Unfortunately no En-2 mutations are available to elucidate further its function in development. To this end, we report here the isolation of three pluripotent embryonic stem cell lines in which one copy of the homoeobox-containing gene, En-2, has been altered by homologous recombination.