In developing monoclonal antibodies (Moabs) against the human fes proto-oncogene product, recombinant DNA technology was used to target reactivity of the Moabs towards the catalytic domain of it. Therefore, sequences of human fes exons 15-19 encoding amino acid residues 612 to 822 which harbor the catalytic domain except the presumed ATP-binding region, were fused in phase to the bacterial trp E gene which encodes anthranilate synthase. After partial purification of it, the bacterially produced hybrid product of this trp E-delta fes fusion gene was used as immunogen. A series of twelve mouse Moabs was obtained which recognized the human p92fes protein and the viral oncogene product p85gag-fes encoded by the Snyder-Theilen strain of feline sarcoma virus. Reactivity appeared to be directed towards the catalytic domain of the human fes proto-oncogene product. This was demonstrated by in vitro transcription and translation experiments using human fes coding sequences from exons 16-19. Upon testing their functional activity in divers immunological techniques, the whole panel of Moabs appeared to be useful in immunoprecipitation, Western blot and immunohistochemical analysis. Immunocytochemical analysis indicated that p85gag-fes is predominantly a cytoplasmic protein.