Autoantibodies occurring in a patient with idiopathic autoimmune type chronic active hepatitis (CAH) were found to react with purified rabbit cytochrome P450IA2 and to a much lesser extent with P450IA1. Both cytochrome P450s are known to be inducible by 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) in the rabbit, and the expression of the microsomal protein recognized by the patient serum was induced in adult rabbit livers after treatment with TCDD. This protein is only weakly detected in liver microsomes from neonatal rabbits exposed to TCDD in utero, which is consistent with the age-dependent induction of P450IA2 by TCDD. The serum specifically reacted with a protein of similar size in microsomes prepared from COS-1 cells transfected with an expression vector containing the full length human P450IA2 cDNA. This reactivity was not detected in the cells transfected with the vector alone, indicating that the antibody recognizes human P450IA2. In addition, the serum extensively inhibited 7-ethoxyresorufin O-deethylation catalyzed by isolated human liver microsomes. This catalytic activity is associated with class IA P450s in other species. A screen of sera from patients with various hepatic and nonhepatic diseases indicates that the autoantibody to P450IA2 occurs rarely in CAH. Cytochrome P450IA2 becomes the third P450 identified as an autoantigen in inflammatory liver diseases.