A cellular enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay was developed for estimating cellular transglutaminase in situ using a monoclonal antibody produced to tissue transglutaminase. The minimum level of detection of TGase was 2-5 ng. The enzyme was present in greater amounts in WI-38 and IMR90 cells than in their simian virus-transformed counterparts. The levels of TGase in the virus-transformed cells increased significantly when the cells were grown in the presence of sodium butyrate to induce enzyme activity. Staining of confluent WI-38 cells by indirect immunofluorescence using the monoclonal antibody showed microscopic fibers suggesting that the enzyme may be associated with detergent-insoluble components.