A mouse monoclonal antibody (BA-Br-3) raised against the breast carcinoma cell line CAMA-1 was previously shown to react with a greater than or equal to 300-kDa globule-like glycoprotein from human milk fat also expressed in the cytoplasm and on the surface of human carcinoma cells of different histological types. In this report the reactivity of this mAb with a large number of normal and malignant human tissues was analyzed using immunoperoxidase techniques. When tested on sections of both fresh-frozen tissues and formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissues, BA-Br-3 reacted with a formalin-resistant antigenic determinant expressed by normal and malignant epithelial cells. Preferential reactivity was observed at the apical portion of ductal epithelial cells in normal breast and in glandular epithelia distributed in several other organs. Reactivity with mucin-like secretions in the lumina of ducts was also found. BA-Br-3 reacted mostly in heterogenous staining patterns with 88% of 49 breast carcinoma specimens tested, regardless of their histological type or whether they were primary or secondary neoplasms. Testing of epithelial malignant tumors other than breast carcinomas with this antibody showed that 127 of 151 (84%) were also reactive. mAb BA-Br-3 and E29 (a commercially available anti-(epithelial membrane antigen) shared very similar staining patterns and distributions of reactivity with breast and other epithelial tumors. However, BA-Br-3 showed a significantly higher percentage of reactivity with melanoma (33% versus 6%, P = 0.003) and a trend toward a higher percentage of reactivity with sarcoma (55% versus 27%, P greater than 0.05). This antibody, therefore, defines a molecule that is a member of the mucin-like epithelial membrane antigen family. Further studies are warranted to determine its usefulness in antibody-directed cancer diagnosis, prognosis, and immunotherapy.