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Abstract. The distribution of the mRNA encoding for villin, the major actin-binding protein of intestinal brush border, was studied during the differentiation of mouse intestinal epithelial cells and compared to the distribution of the protein. In situ hybridization using a cRNA clone specific for villin indicated that the distribution of the mRNA did not fully parallel that of the protein, although the overall labeling pattern for mRNA and protein along the crypt-villus axis was similar. While villin was present in equal amounts in all cells along the villi, villin-specific mRNA was mainly accumulated in the cells at the villus base, the area of the epithelium where terminal differentiation takes place and where the brush border is formed.