We report the cloning, genomic localization, primary structure and developmental expression pattern of the novel mouse Hox-4.3 gene. This gene is located within the HOX-4(5) complex, at a position which classifies it as a member of the Hox-3.1 and -2.4 subfamily, the DNA and predicted protein sequences further confirmed this classification. Hox-4.3 has a primary structure characteristic of a Hox gene but, in addition, contains several monotonic stretches of amino acids, one of the ‘paired’-like type. As expected from its presence and position within the complex. Hox-4.3 is developmentally expressed in structures of either mesodermal or neurectodermal origin located or derived from below a precise craniocaudal level. However, a very important offset between anteroposterior boundaries within neuroectoderm versus mesoderm derivatives is observed. Like other genes of the HOX-4(5) complex, Hox-4.3 is expressed in developing limbs and gonads, suggesting that ‘cluster specificity’ could be a feature of the HOX network.

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