Human WDR9 has been mapped to chromosome 21, within one of the Down syndrome (DS) critical regions. Here, we study the expression pattern of the murine Wdr9 gene and its protein product. We show that Wdr9 is broadly expressed in the mouse embryo by means of in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry. Wdr9 expression levels are dynamic during embryonic development as revealed by Northern blot analysis. We further show that WDR9 is a nuclear protein associated with BRG1, a SWI/SNF complex component. We also demonstrate that a polyglutamine-containing region of the protein functions as a transcriptional activation domain. We propose that WDR9 is a transcriptional regulator involved in chromatin remodeling through the action of two bromodomains and contacts to the SWI/SNF complex. These results may provide a molecular basis for the association of WDR9 with DS. Developmental Dynamics 227:608–614, 2003. © 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.