Pattern formation in the hindbrain involves a segmentation process leading to the formation of metameric units, manifested as successive swellings known as rhombomeres (r). In search for genes involved in cell-cell interactions during hindbrain segmentation, we have screened for protein kinase genes with restricted expression patterns in this region of the CNS. We present the cloning of three novel mouse genes, Sek-2, Sek-3 and Sek-4 (members of the Eph subfamily of putative transmembrane receptor protein tyrosine kinases (RTKs)), the identification of their chromosomal locations, and the analysis of their expression between 7.5 and 10.5 days of development. Before morphological segmentation, Sek-2 is transcribed in a transverse stripe corresponding to prospective r4 and the adjacent mesoderm, suggesting possible roles both in hindbrain segmentation and signalling between neuroepithelium and mesoderm. Sek-3 and Sek-4 have common domains of expression, including r3, r5 and part of the midbrain, as well as specific domains in the diencephalon, telencephalon, spinal cord and in mesodermal and neural crest derivatives. Together with our previous finding that Sek (Sek-1) is expressed in r3 and r5 (Gilardi-Hebenstreit et al., 1992; Nieto et al., 1992), these data indicate that members of the Eph family of RTKs may co-operate in the segmental patterning of the hindbrain.