Promyelocyte Leukemia Zinc Finger (PLZF) is a Kruppel-like zinc finger gene previously identified in a unique case of acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) as the counterpart of a reciprocal chromosomal translocation involving the retinoic acid receptor alpha gene (RAR alpha). PLZF is highly conserved throughout evolution from yeast to mammals. To elucidate its role, we isolated the murine PLZF gene and studied its expression during embryogenesis. PLZF is expressed in an extremely dynamic pattern with transcripts appearing at E 7.5 in the anterior neuroepithelium and quickly spreading to the entire neuroectoderm until E 10. At E 8.5, PLZF is transcribed in most of the endoderm. During mid to late gestation PLZF is expressed in restricted domains of the developing CNS as well as in specific organs and body structures. We have focused our attention on the developing forebrain where PLZF is transcribed in a transverse, segment-like domain corresponding to the anterior pretectum, in the alarmost part of the dorsal thalamus, in the epithalamus, and in the hypothalamus along a defined longitudinal subdomain. Furthermore, PLZF is expressed in several segmentary boundaries, among them, the zona limitans intrathalamica. Combined analysis with other regionally restricted genes, such as Orthopedia and Dlx1, indicates that in the hypothalamus the PLZF domain is contained within that of Orthopedia and both are complementary to that of Dlx1. Our data suggest a role for PLZF in the establishment and maintenance of transverse identities, longitudinal subdomains, and interneuromeric boundaries, providing additional evidences in favor of the neuromeric organization of the forebrain.