A cDNA clone expressing an antigen of Plasmodium falciparum, selected by screening an expression library cloned in Escherichia coli, encodes a portion of the protein identified as a glycophorin-binding protein [Kochan et al. (1986) Cell 44, 689-696]. Human antibodies affinity-purified on extracts from this clone were used to characterize the antigen by immunoblotting. This protein was present in all isolates tested, restricted to mature trophozoites and schizonts. It was abundant in culture supernatants at the time of merozoite release but present in minor amounts if at all in merozoites. The pattern of antigen distribution over schizont-infected cells observed by immunoelectron microscopy differed from that of the precursor of the major merozoite surface antigens in that most of the antigen appeared to be located over the erythrocyte cytoplasm without any obvious association with organelles. It thus appears unlikely that this antigen is present on the merozoite surface prior to schizont rupture.