The myelin basic protein (MBP) gene is part of the golli-mbp gene complex. In mouse, the golli-mbp gene produces two families of mRNAs from different transcription start sites that generate either MBPs or golli proteins (which contain MBP sequences in addition to unique peptide sequences). In situ hybridization and immunocytochemical analyses indicate that golli products are expressed in selected neuronal populations in postnatal mouse brain, in addition to oligodendrocytes, as shown earlier. The principal subcellular location of golli proteins in neurons was in axonal and dendritic processes. In a small subset of neurons, golli proteins were located in nuclei. With development and neuronal maturation, golli-mbp expression decreased and/or there was a striking shift in subcellular localization from nuclei and cell soma to the cell processes in specific neuronal populations. Golli protein was localize in neurites of migrating cerebellar granule cells, but it shifted to a nuclear localization when the cells took up residence in the internal granule cell layer. In some regions, (e.g., olfactory bulb and cerebellum) golli proteins were expressed over the entire postnatal period examined (birth to 75 d). The unique patterns of developmental expression within individual populations of neurons, and the unusual shift in subcellular localization of golli proteins with neuronal migration and maturation, suggest a complex regulation of this gene at both the transcriptional and posttranslational levels. The data also suggest that the cellular function(s) of the golli proteins is very different from the structurally related MBPs.