Two hybridomas producing monoclonal antibodies to proliferating cell nuclear antigen. (PNCA)/cyclin were generated from spleen cells of BALB/c mice immunized with purified PCNA from rabbit thymus. The specificity of the monoclonal antibodies (19A2 and 19F4) was established by showing that they reacted in enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) with purified PCNA. Furthermore, they reacted in one-dimensional (ID) gel immunoblots with a 36 kD polypeptide which also reacted with human autoantibodies from lupus patients. Both monoclonals also recognized the nuclear polypeptide cyclin in two-dimensional (2D) gel immunoblots of HeLa cell proteins. Epitopes recognized by 19A2 and 19F4 were analysed by competitive inhibition test using a modified ELISA. The data suggested that the epitopes were closely related, but not identical. The data with human auto-antibodies were more difficult to interpret, although it suggested that some human anti-PCNA may share epitopes with 19A2 and 19F4, but in addition recognize different epitopes on the PCNA molecule.