We report the cloning, sequence analysis, and developmental expression pattern of lim1, a member of the LIM class homeobox gene family in the mouse. lim1 cDNA encodes a predicted 406 amino acid protein that is 93% identical with the product of the Xenopus LIM class homeobox gene Xlim1. We have characterized lim1 expression from day 8.5 post coitum onward. Northern blot analysis of RNA transcripts indicates that lim1 is expressed both during embryogenesis and in the adult brain. Analysis by whole-mount and section in situ hybridization shows lim1 expression in the central nervous system from the telencephalon through the spinal cord and in the developing excretory system including pronephric region, mesonephros, nephric duct, and metanephros. In the metanephros, lim1 is strongly expressed in renal vesicles and S-shaped bodies, and transcripts are also detected in the ureteric branches. © 1994 Wiley-Liss, Inc.