TGF-beta signaling is mediated through two types of serine/threonin kinase-containing receptors, type I (TGF-betaRI) and type II (TGF-betaRII), which form a heteromeric complex. In this signaling complex, ligand binding TGF-betaRII phosphorylates and thereby activates the TGF-betaRI to signal downstream pathways. To determine the role of TGF-betaRII in embryogenesis, we have generated a TGF-betaRII gene (Tgfbr2) knockout mouse line. The heterozygous Tgfbr2 knockout mice are developmentally normal. The homozygous Tgfbr2 mutation causes defects in the yolk sac hematopoiesis and vasculogenesis, resulting in an embryonic lethality around 10.5 days of gestation. This phenotype is indistinguishable from the previously reported embryonic lethality by the homozygous TGF-beta1 gene (Tgfb1) null mutation. In addition, we have generated chimeric mice using a Tgfbr2 (-/-) embryonic stem cell line. Some chimeric mice showed several types of congenital anomalies, suggesting that TGF-beta II is important for normal development in a variety of organs.