To identify Brucella antigens that are potentially involved in stimulating a protective cell-mediated immune response, a gene library of Brucella abortus 2308 was screened for the expression of antigens reacting with immunoglobulin G2a antibodies from BALB/c mice vaccinated with B. abortus RB51. One selected positive clone (clone MCB68) contained an insert of 2.6 kb; nucleotide sequence analysis of this insert revealed two open reading frames (ORFs). The deduced amino acid sequences of the first and second ORFs had significant similarities with the YajC and SecD proteins, respectively, of several bacterial species. Both the YajC and SecD proteins were expressed in Escherichia coli as fusion proteins with maltose binding protein (MBP). In Western blots, sera from mice vaccinated with B. abortus RB51 recognized YajC but not SecD. Further Western blot analysis with purified recombinant YajC protein indicated that mice inoculated with B. abortus 19 or 2308 or B. melitensis RM1 also produced antibodies to YajC. In response to in vitro stimulation with recombinant MBP-YajC fusion protein, splenocytes from mice vaccinated with B. abortus RB51 were able to proliferate and produce gamma interferon but not interleukin-4. This study demonstrates, for the first time, the involvement of YajC protein in an immune response to an infectious agent.