Hybridoma cell lines were obtained from the fusion of NS-O myeloma cells with spleen cells of mice immunized with bovine fetal skeletal myosin. A stable hybridoma clone, BF-G6, produced immunoglobulin G1 k antibodies reacting specifically with embryonic-type myosin heavy chains present in fetal but not in neonatal or adult human skeletal muscle, as determined by enzyme immunoassay and immunoblot analysis. Fetal but not adult skeletal muscle fibers were stained by this monoclonal antibody in indirect immunofluorescence assays; smooth muscle cells and cardiac muscle cells, as well as non-muscle cells were also unreactive. Solid tumors of infants and children were tested for reactivity with BF-G6 by immunofluorescence and immunoperoxidase staining. Embryonic myosin heavy chain was expressed in rhabdomyosarcomas but not in other types of tumor, except for Wilms' tumor. Rhabdomyosarcoma cells isolated from a bone marrow metastasis and grown in vitro for several months were also labelled by BF-G6. Embryonic myosin heavy chain can thus be used as a specific differentiation marker of normal and neoplastic skeletal muscle tissue.