In this report, we use a monoclonal antibody (B2C2) and antibodies against a fusion protein (Leaf et al. 1987) to characterize msp130, a cell surface protein specific to the primary mesenchyme cells of the sea urchin embryo. This protein first appears on the surface of these cells upon ingression into the blastocoel. Immunoelectronmicroscopy shows that msp130 is present in the trans side of the Golgi apparatus and on the extracellular surface of primary mesenchyme cells. Four precursor proteins to msp130 are identified and we show that B2C2 recognizes only the mature form of msp130. We demonstrate that msp130 contains N-linked carbohydrate groups and that the B2C2 epitope is sensitive to endoglycosidase F digestion. Evidence that msp130 is apparently a sulphated glycoprotein is presented. The recognition of the B2C2 epitope of msp130 is disrupted when embryos are cultured in sulphate-free sea water. In addition, two-dimensional immunoblots show that msp130 is an acidic protein that becomes substantially less acidic in the absence of sulphate. We also show that two other independently derived monoclonal antibodies, IG8 (McClay et al. 1983; McClay, Matranga & Wessel, 1985) and 1223 (Carson et al. 1985), recognize msp130, and suggest this protein to be a major cell surface antigen of primary mesenchyme cells.