The use of MAb E-9 raised against tissue-cultured endothelial cells (EC) has shown marked heterogeneity in vascular EC lining the blood vessels of normal and tumour tissues. MAb E-9 is human EC-specific and the protein recognized by it is a homodimer with a molecular mass of 97 kDa. The E-9 protein is resistant to treatment by 3 mM sodium periodate, but is sensitive to 10% trichloroacetic acid and 70% ethanol. E-9 protein has been assigned to a new cluster, CD 105, and mapped to human chromosome 9q3. It has approximately 70% homology with type-III cell-surface receptor for transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β). Recently CD 105 has been reported to be the gene in patients with hereditary haemorrhagic telangiecta-sia. We have examined the effects of radiation on its expression in normal human umbilical-vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) and brain-tumour-derived endothelial cells (BTEC). Irradiation induced dose-and time-dependent up-regulation in the expression of the E-9 protein on the plasma membranes of EC, and also resulted in greater increase in the expression of the E-9 protein in semi-confluent (proliferating) as compared with confluent (non-proliferating) EC. It may well be that, following radio-therapy in cancer patients, E-9 protein is also up-regulated. The presence of increased amounts of E-9 protein in EC makes it an attractive target in the control of angiogenesis, especially after radiotherapy in cancer patients. The time scale involved in the up-regulation of E-9 protein following irradiation has led us to suggest that it may be a secondary event, the primary being the production and release of mitogenic factors (such as basic fibroblast growth factor) from irradiated EC. © 1995 Wiley-Liss, Inc.