Many studies have focused on the mechanisms of axon guidance; however, little is known about the transcriptional control of the navigational components that carryout these decisions. This report describes the functional analysis of Nerfin-1, a nuclear regulator of axon guidance required for a subset of early pathfinding events in the developing Drosophila CNS. Nerfin-1 belongs to a highly conserved subfamily of Zn-finger proteins with cognates identified in nematodes and man. We show that the neural precursor gene prospero is essential for nerfin-1 expression. Unlike nerfin-1 mRNA, which is expressed in many neural precursor cells, the encoded Nerfin-1 protein is only detected in the nuclei of neuronal precursors that will divide just once and then transiently in their nascent neurons. Although nerfin-1 null embryos have no discernible alterations in neural lineage development nor in neuronal or glial identities, CNS pioneering neurons require nerfin-1 function for early axon guidance decisions. Furthermore, nerfin-1 is required for the proper development of commissural and connective axon fascicles. Our studies also show that Nerfin-1 is essential for the proper expression of robo2, wnt5, derailed, G-oalpha47A, Lar, and futsch, genes whose encoded proteins participate in these early navigational events.