We have examined "preimmune" serum samples from a patient who progressively developed the symptoms of scleroderma CREST over a period of several years. During this period, anti-centromere antibodies (recognized by indirect immunofluorescence) appeared in the serum. Concomitant with the appearance of the anti-centromere antibodies, antibody species recognizing three chromosomal antigens in immunoblots of SDS polyacrylamide gels appeared in the patient's serum. These antigens migrate with electrophoretic mobilities corresponding to Mr = 17, 80, and 140 kilodaltons (kd). Affinity-eluted antibody fractions recognizing the antigens have been prepared from sera of three other patients. Indirect immunofluorescence labeling of mitotic cells using these antibody fractions demonstrates that the antigens are centromere components. We designate them CENP (CENtromere Protein) - A (17kd), CENP-B (80kd), and CENP-C (140kd). The three CENP antigens share antigenic determinants. Immunoblotting experiments show that these patients make antibody species recognizing at least three distinct epitopes on CENP-B and two on CENP-C. Sera from different patients contain different mixtures of the antibody species.