Conformational and structural modulations of the NH2-terminal region of fibrinogen and fibrin associated with plasmin cleavage have been examined utilizing specific antibody probes. The E region derived from the NH2-terminal aspects of fibrinogen undergoes complex structural and conformational changes throughout the cleavage process as indicated by differences in the quantitative and qualitative expression of antigenic determinants by the E region of each isolated cleavage fragment. When the range of antigenic determinants recognized by the antibody probe is limited to a specific molecular marker on the gamma chain within the E region, fg-E-neo, evidence for a systematic and progressive modulation of this site during plasmin cleavage is observed. Fg-E-neo undergoes progressive exposure as the cleavage of fibrinogen proceeds from X to Y to D:E complex. Separation of the D:E complex into its constituent, D and E fragments, is associated with further exposure of fg-E-neo determinants. The sequential cleavage of fibrin by plasmin also leads to progressive exposure of the fg-E-neo site; however, comparison of corresponding fragments derived from fibrinogen and fibrin reveals significant differences in the character of fg-E-neo expression. Immunochemical differences between fibrin and fibrinogen E fragments are not abolished by further exposure of the fragments to plasmin, are apparently not due to the presence or absence of fibrinopeptides, and are maintained following denaturation and renaturation of the fragments. These results suggest that the differential expression of fg-E-neo by the E fragments may be primarily dependent upon differences in amino acid compositions of the fragments.