Mutations in the TBX22 gene have been identified recently in patients with the X-linked cleft palate and ankyloglossia syndrome, suggesting that the TBX22 transcription factor plays an important role in palate development. However, because ankyloglossia has been reported in the majority of patients with TBX22 mutations, it has been speculated that the cleft palate phenotype is secondary to defective fetal tongue movement. To understand the role of TBX22 in disease pathogenesis and in normal development, it is necessary to carry out a detailed temporal and spatial gene expression analysis. We report here the isolation and developmental expression analysis of the mouse homolog Tbx22. The mouse Tbx22 gene encodes a putative protein of 517 amino acid residues, which shares 72% overall amino acid sequence identity with the human TBX22 protein. By using interspecific backcross analysis, we have localized the Tbx22 gene to mouse chromosome X, in a region syntenic to human chromosome Xq21, where the TBX22 gene resides, indicating that Tbx22 is the ortholog of human TBX22. Our in situ hybridization analysis shows that Tbx22 is expressed in a temporally and spatially highly restricted pattern during mouse palate and tongue development. Together with the mutant phenotypes in human patients, our data indicate a primary role for Tbx22 in both palate and tongue development. © 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.