Alkaline phosphatase (ALP) was secreted and expressed at the cell surface of the lymphoma A/63-2 cell line but not on another clone A/63-1 deriving from a single thymoma (A/63) induced by a wild-type Abelson-Moloney viral complex. The enzyme was heat-sensitive and strongly inhibited by L-p-bromotetramisole and L-homoarginine but not by L-phenylalanine. All these data indicated that this enzyme was most likely identical to the L/B/K ALP isoenzyme. Southern blot analysis showed that neither amplification nor polymorphism were responsible for the high expression of the ALP gene observed in A/63-2 cells. On the opposite, the mRNA transcripts of ALP were only detected in A/63-2 cells indicating that a modulation of the ALP gene transcription occurred which could be due to the insertion of the v-abl gene within or near the 5'-flanking region of the ALP promotor in A/63-2 cells. Butyrate strongly increased both the secretion and the expression of the enzyme on A/63-2 cell surface. This induction was strongly inhibited by cordycepin, an RNA biosynthesis inhibitor, and at a lesser degree by cycloheximide, a translation inhibitor suggesting that butyrate induction occurs both at the transcriptional and the translational level.