The transformation-induced protein plastin (p219; Mr 68,000, pl 5.3) is a reliable cytosolic marker for neoplastic human fibroblasts. Fibroblasts transformed in vitro by chemical carcinogens or SV40 virus and tumor-derived cancer cells of fibroblastoid or epithelioid origin usually express plastin and p220, a minor phosphorylated form of plastin. We report here that plastin is expressed as one of the most abundant proteins of normal, untransformed lymphocytes. The phosphorylated form of plastin was detectable in adherent monocytes but not in purified T- or NK lymphocytes. We also demonstrate that an allelic variant or mutated form of plastin exhibiting altered charge is found at a reduced frequency in the human population. We discuss the possible significance of these observations in terms of evaluating the role of plastin induction in expression of the cancerous phenotype of fibroblasts.