A murine monoclonal antibody (mAb), 928, that recognizes a cell surface antigen (928 Ag) on a human Epstein-Barr virus-transformed fetal liver-derived lymphoid progenitor cell line (FL4.4) was generated. The 928 mAb reacted with only FL4.4; it did not react with any other 57 cell lines tested. Two color flowcytometry analysis of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) revealed that the 928 mAb reacted with B cell and monocyte fractions from only two individuals out of 63 unrelated donors. Biochemical analyses showed that the 928 Ag composes of two molecules (33 and 34 Kd) and forms a SDS-resistant, noncovalently linked dimer conformation, the feature being similar to that of peptide-bound MHC class II molecules. Treatment of FL4.4 cells with the 928 mAb significantly facilitated homotypic cell aggregation. In addition, treatment of PBMC of the 928 Ag+ donor with recombinant IL-4 augmented the expression of the 928 Ag on CD64+ monocytes. Typing of HLA-DRB1, DPA1 and DPB1 alleles of the 928 Ag expressing and nonexpressing cells revealed that the 928 Ag is expressed only on PBMC of HLA-DPA1*0201 and DPB1*0301 positive donors. Finally, anti-DP antibody precleared 928 Ag from the cell lysate. These results demonstrate that the 928 mAb recognizes a polymorphic determinant of HLA-DPA1*0201-DPB1*0301 gene products. The possibility that amino acids in the groove of the peptide-binding site of HLA-DP molecules are critical for the 928 epitope is discussed.