The ability of cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) induced in vitro to trinitrophenyl (TNP)-modified syngeneic cells to cross-reactively lyse a TNP allogeneic spleen target varies among inbred mouse strains. The cross-reactive CTL phenotype was found to be histocompatibility 2 (H-2) linked and to be dominant in F1 hybrid mice. All strains investigated demonstrated cross-reactivity except for some strains bearing portions of the H-2k haplotype. The gene(s) controlling this response maps to the K and/or I-A region of the H-2 complex. We have termed the immune response (Ir) gene responsible for controlling the specificity of CTL induced to TNP-modified syngeneic cells Ir-X-TNP.