In frogs, mesoderm presumably derives from presumptive ectoderm by induction under the control of diffusible substances produced by the endoderm. To analyze the early phase of mesoderm induction, I have isolated cDNA copies of mRNAs induced in presumptive ectoderm by mesoderm inducing factor secreted by the XTC cell line. One of the inducible mRNAs encodes a homeodomain-containing protein that is likely to play a regulatory role in development. Mix.1 behaves as an immediate early response to induction, and its kinetics of expression suggest a major role for MBT in the control of inducible gene expression. Unexpectedly, Mix.1 is expressed mostly in the future endoderm, suggesting that endoderm may be formed by induction in a similar way as mesoderm.