White lupin (Lupinus albus) grown under P deficiency displays a suite of highly coordinated adaptive responses. Included among these is secretion of copious amounts of acid phosphatase (APase). Although numerous reports document that plants secrete APases in response to P deficiency, little is known of the biochemical and molecular events involved in this process. Here we characterize the secreted APase protein, cDNA, and gene from white lupin. The secreted APase enzyme is a glycoprotein with broad substrate specificity. It is synthesized as a preprotein with a deduced Mr of 52,000 containing a 31-amino acid presequence. Analysis of the presequence predicts that the protein is targeted to outside the cell. The processed protein has a predicted Mr of 49,000 but migrates as a protein with Mr of 70,000 on sodium dodecyl sulfate gels. This is likely due to glycosylation. Enhanced expression is fairly specific to proteoid roots of P-stressed plants and involves enhanced synthesis of both enzyme protein and mRNA. Secreted APase appears to be encoded by a single gene containing seven exons interrupted by six introns. The 5′-upstream putative promoter of the white lupin-secreted APase contains a 50-base pair region having 72% identity to an Arabidopsis APase promoter that is responsive to P deficiency. The white lupin-secreted APase promoter and targeting sequence may be useful tools for genetically engineering important proteins from plant roots.