Among the many transcription factors thus far identified several are found to be expressed almost exclusively in the nervous system. The Brn-3 subfamily of POU-transcription factors constitutes a highly conserved group of such factors showing expression predominantly in sensory neurons. We now describe the nucleotide sequence and proposed amino acid sequence of a chicken homologue to the murine and human Brn-3 genes. Furthermore we characterise the early embryonic expression pattern of this chicken Brn-3 gene and show it to be expressed in peripheral sensory ganglia as well as in retinal ganglion cells. Based on these findings we conclude that the chicken homologue to the murine and human Brn-3a genes has been cloned. We have begun to examine possible regulatory pathways of Brn-3a by stimulating chick embryonic peripheral ganglia with trophic factors and assaying resulting levels of Brn-3a with a quantitative PCR approach. Trigeminal and dorsal root ganglia stimulated in culture by NGF and NT-3 embryonic day 9 (E9) produce neurites without raising the Brn-3a mRNA levels.