A putative cleavage site of the human foamy virus (HFV) envelope glycoprotein (Env) was altered. Transient env expression revealed that the R572T mutant Env was normally expressed and modified by asparagine-linked oligosaccharide chains. However, this single-amino-acid substitution was sufficient to abolish all detectable cleavage of the gp130 precursor polyprotein. Cell surface biotinylation demonstrated that the uncleaved mutant gp130 was transported to the plasma membrane. The uncleaved mutant protein was incapable of syncytium formation. Glycoprotein-driven virion budding, a unique aspect of HFV assembly, occurred despite the absence of Env cleavage. We then substituted the R572T mutant env into a replication- competent HFV molecular clone. Transfection of the mutant vital DNA into BHK- 21 cells followed by vital titration with the FAB (foamy virus-activated β- galactosidase expression) assay revealed that proteolysis of the HFV Env was essential for vital infectivity. Wild-type HFV Env partially complemented the defective virus phenotype. Taken together, these experimental results established the location of the HFV Env proteolytic site; the effects of cleavage on Env transport, processing, and function; and the importance of Env proteolysis for virus maturation and infectivity.