Nuclear pore complexes are large, elaborate macromolecular structures that mediate the bidirectional nucleocytoplasmic traffic. In vertebrates, nuclear pore complexes comprise 50 to 100 proteins termed nucleoporins (Nup). An 88-kd nucleoporin (Nup88) has been recently cloned and characterized, and found to be associated in a dynamic subcomplex with the oncogenic nucleoporin CAN/Nup 214. We have produced a polyclonal antiserum to Nup88, and found that it immunoreacts convincingly in conventional tissue sections of 214 samples of malignant tumors of many types. All carcinomas were stained irrespective of site or line of differentiation; the majority of cases reacted strongly and extensively. In situ carcinomas and highly dysplastic epithelia were similarly reactive. Samples of malignant mesotheliomas, gliomas, sarcomas, and lymphoreticular tumors were also stained. Substantial reactions were also found in certain fetal tissues. Focal reactions were noted in some reactive-proliferative processes. Most benign epithelial and mesenchymal tumors and hyperplasias, and normal adult tissues reacted weakly and sporadically or not at all. Immunoblot analysis of selected samples strongly corroborated those findings. If further substantiated, our findings indicate that Nup88 could be regarded as a selective yet broadly based proliferation marker of potential significance in the histological evaluation and diagnosis of malignant transformation. Its ready applicability on conventional paraffin sections and on cytological preparations may broaden its clinical and investigative significance.