CTL lines specific for two different proteins derived from the human pathogens, Plasmodium falciparum (malaria) circumsporozoite protein and HIV-1 reverse transcriptase, were obtained by immunizing mice with protein-pulsed syngeneic spleen cells. The lysis of the target cells was dependent on a class I MHC molecule and the accessory molecule CD8. Immunodominant epitopic peptides were identified previously in the two proteins using murine CTL derived after immunization with recombinant virus or sporozoites, or using CTL from HIV-1-infected patients. These peptides were also recognized by the CTL lines obtained after protein-pulsed spleen-cell immunization. A new CTL antigenic determinant was localized in HIV-1 reverse transcriptase to residues 514 to 528, a sequence that, if folded as an alpha-helix, would be strongly amphipathic. The determinant was tentatively narrowed, using overlapping peptides, to a core of at least nine residues, 515 to 523. This site was also recognized by CTL obtained by the two different methods of immunization. Therefore, extracellular proteins incubated with spleen cells can be processed and presented in vivo in the same way as intracellular proteins, resulting in recognition of the same epitopes in association with the same class I MHC molecules. The potential implications for vaccine development and for the understanding of class I-restricted Ag presentation are discussed.