The synuclein family consists of three small intracellular proteins mainly expressed in neural tissues, and has been associated with human neurodegenerative diseases. We have examined the spatial and temporal expression patterns of three synuclein genes during embryogenesis of Xenopus laevis. The Xenopus synucleins were firstly expressed in the developing nervous system at the tail bud stages. At tadpole stages, Xenopus snca was expressed in the brain, branchial arch and somite, and sncbb signals were detected in entire brain and spinal cord. However, sncg was only expressed in the peripheral nervous system including trigeminal nerve and dorsal root ganglion. RT-PCR indicated that expression of synucleins was up-regulated at the end of neurulation, and then maintained at later examined stages. Our study provides the spatiotemporal expression patterns of the synuclein family genes in Xenopus embryos, and forms a basis for further functional analysis of synucleins. Developmental Dynamics 240:2028–2033, 2011. © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.