In both vertebrate and invertebrate development, cells are often programmed to adopt fates distinct from their neighbors. Genetic analyses in Drosophila melanogaster have highlighted the importance of cell surface and secreted proteins in these cell fate decisions. Homologues of these proteins have been identified and shown to play similar roles in vertebrate development. Fringe, a novel signalling protein, has been shown to induce wing margin formation in Drosophila. Fringe shares significant sequence homology and predicted secondary structure similarity with bacterial glycosyltransferases. Thus fringe may control wing development by altering glycosylation of cell surface and/or secreted molecules. Recently, two fringe genes were isolated from Xenopus laevis. We report here the cloning and characterization of three murine fringe genes (lunatic fringe, manic fringe and radical fringe). We find in several tissues that fringe expression boundaries coincide with Notch-dependent patterning centres and with Notch-ligand expression boundaries. Ectopic expression of murine manic fringe or radical fringe in Drosophila results in phenotypes that resemble those seen in Notch mutants.