We have identified a novel human centromere-associated protein by preparing monoclonal antibodies against a fraction of HeLa chromosome scaffold proteins enriched for centromere/kinetochore components. One monoclonal antibody (mAb177) specifically stains the centromere region of mitotic human chromosomes and binds to a novel, approximately 250-300 kd chromosome scaffold associated protein named CENP-E. In cells progressing through different parts of the cell cycle, the localization of CENP-E differed markedly from that observed for the previously identified centromere proteins CENP-A, CENP-B, CENP-C and CENP-D. In contrast to these antigens, no mAb177 staining is detected during interphase, and staining first appears at the centromere region of chromosomes during prometaphase. This association with chromosomes remains throughout metaphase but is redistributed to the midplate at or just after the onset of anaphase. By telophase, the staining is localized exclusively to the midbody. Microinjection of the mAb177 into metaphase cells blocks or significantly delays progression into anaphase, although the morphology of the spindle and the configuration of the metaphase chromosomes appear normal in these metaphase arrested cells. This demonstrates that CENP-E function is required for the transition from metaphase to anaphase.