- Adenosine kinase (AK) from CHO cells has been purified to homogeneity and specific antibodies to it have been raised in rabbits. Using this antibody, the presence of a specific cross-reacting protein (CRP) in cell extracts of different classes of mutants resistant to purine nucleoside analogs which are affected in AK has been investigated by the immunoblotting technique. Results of our studies show that 31 of the 32 independently selected class A AK- mutants (obtained at high frequency in presence of adenosine analogs toyocamycin, tubercidin, 6-methylmercaptopurine riboside, or pyrazofurin and containing no measurable activity of AK in cell extracts) contained similar amounts of a specific CRP as seen in the parental AK+ cells. The CRP in the parental and different mutant cell lines has the same relative molecular mass as purified AK. Similar results were obtained with two mutants each of the class B and C type (selected in presence of C-nucleosides formycin A and formycin B), which are also affected in AK but show novel properties. The presence of equivalent amounts of the CRP in the vast majority of the class A mutants strongly indicates that the high frequency of those mutants in CHO cells is not a result of an epigenetic or deletion type of event, but that such mutants may contain missense types of mutations at a presumed "mutational hot spot" within the structural gene for adenosine kinase.