The Rz lysis gene of bacteriophage lambda was cloned into the expression vectors, pT7-3 and pT7-7. The recombinant plasmids expressed either a protein of an unexpected 6.5-kDa size (pT7-3H and pSB54) or two proteins of 6.5 and 17.2 kDa (pBH21). The 6.5-kDa protein alone did not complement the lysis defect of the lambda Rz mutant; hence, this protein was not the Rz gene product. Complementation observed as a result of pBH21 expression thus can be ascribed to the 17.2-kDa protein, which agrees with the size based on the nucleotide sequence of Rz. The 6.5 kDa is a product of an open reading frame entirely encompassed within the Rz sequence and denoted by us Rz1. Both proteins were detectable only by autoradiography, which may mean that the genes are expressed at low rates. Polyclonal anti-Rz antibodies (Ab) were obtained by rabbit immunization with a synthetic polypeptide corresponding to an antigenic determinant of Rz defined by a computer program. The Ab reacted with the 17.2-kDa protein resulting from pBH21 expression, as well as with the 17.2-kDa protein present in the induced Escherichia coli W3350(lambda cI857Sam7) lysate.