The c-erbB3 protein is a member of the type I growth factor receptor family. It has a widespread pattern of expression in normal tissues and is overexpressed in about 20% of breast cancers. We have raised a specific monoclonal antibody, called SGP1, against the extracellular domain of c-erbB3 which recognises the native form of the protein. The monoclonal antibody was found to modestly but significantly stimulate the anchorage-independent cloning efficiency of the breast tumour cell lines BT483 and T47D, both of which express the c-erbB3 protein. No effect was observed on 293 cells lacking expression, nor did a control isotype-matched antibody promote the growth of any of the cells tested. These results suggest that the c-erbB3 protein may normally act as a growth factor receptor.