We isolated cDNAs to beta and gamma subtypes of 14-3-3 protein, a putative regulatory protein for protein kinase C, from the brain and clarified a high homology in sequences of nucleotides and deduced amino acids between the two rat subtypes and the bovine counterparts and even reciprocally between the two rat subtypes. In Northern blot analysis, the gene expression of the two subtypes was detected weakly at E13, increased progressively after birth and reached a maximum at P7-P14. Thereafter it decreased slightly. In situ hybridization analysis allowed detection of the beta but not the gamma subtype in the matrix cells of the ventricular germinal zone of the neural wall. In post-mitotic neurons in the mantle zone and maturing brain loci, genes of the two subtypes were expressed in patterns similar to each other, and three neuron types were identified: type I neurons with high levels of expression throughout development; type II neurons showing high expression during the early developmental stages with a subsequent decrease in the expression at maturing and adult stages; and type III neurons showing consistently low levels of expression throughout development. The wider and more highly-patterned expression of the 14-3-3 protein family than expected suggests that this protein may be involved in the elaborate regulation of some fundamental cellular activities and differentiation of neurons.