Three antibodies reacting with corneal keratan sulfate proteoglycan were used to detect antigenically related molecules in 11 bovine and 13 embryonic chick tissues. Two monoclonal antibodies recognized sulfated epitopes on the keratan sulfate chain and a polyclonal antibody bound antigenic sites on the core protein of corneal keratan sulfate proteoglycan. Competitive immunoassay detected core protein and keratan sulfate antigens in guanidine HCl extracts of most tissues. Keratan sulfate antigens of most bovine tissues were only partially extracted with guanidine HCl, but the remainder could be solubilized by CNBr treatment of the guanidine-extracted residue. Keratan sulfate and core protein antigens co-eluted with purified corneal keratan sulfate proteoglycan on ion exchange high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Endo-beta-galactosidase digestion of the HPLC-purified keratan sulfate antigens eliminated the binding of monoclonal anti-keratan sulfate antibodies in enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Extracts of all 11 bovine tissues, except those from brain and cartilage, could bind both anti-keratan sulfate monoclonal antibodies and anti-core protein polyclonal antibody simultaneously. Binding was sensitive to competition with keratan sulfate and to digestion with endo-beta-galactosidase. These results suggest widespread occurrence of a proteoglycan or sulfated glycoprotein bearing keratan sulfate-like carbohydrate and a core protein resembling that of corneal keratan sulfate proteoglycan.