A polyclonal antibody, alpha Hox 2.1a, has been generated and used to immunolocalize Hox 2.1 protein in mouse embryos. Protein is present in nuclei of all tissues previously shown to express Hox 2.1 RNA. In addition, protein is seen in somites and proximal regions of the limb buds, tissues in which Hox 2.1 RNA expression was not clearly detected previously by in situ hybridization. At the 7 somite stage, protein is detectable in the neural tube up to the level of somite 1, but later retracts to a more posterior position. Immunoblot, in vitro translation, and immunoprecipitation experiments were carried out to characterize the Hox 2.1 protein. The results show that the Hox 2.1 gene produces at least two related phosphorylated proteins present in different proportions in different tissues.