Homeobox-containing genes are thought to have a role in controlling development. In Drosophila, the 'engrailed' (en) gene plays an important role during development in segmentation, where it is required for the formation of posterior compartments. Different mutations in the mouse homologs, En1 and En2, produced different developmental defects that frequently are lethal. The human engrailed homologs 1 and 2 encode homeodomain-containing proteins and have been implicated in the control of pattern formation during development of the central nervous system.The deduced 392-amino acid human EN1
protein is 95% identical to mouse En1. As in mouse and chicken, the predicted coding region of the human EN1 gene is interrupted by a single intron.