Human cytomegalovirus contains an envelope glycoprotein of 58 kilodaltons (gp58). The protein, which is derived from a glycosylated precursor molecule of 160 kilodaltons via proteolytic cleavage, is capable of inducing neutralizing antibodies. We have mapped the epitopes recognized by the neutralizing monoclonal antibody 7-17 and a second antibody (27-287) which is not neutralizing. Overlapping fragments of the carboxy-terminal part of the open reading frame coding for gp58 were expressed in Escherichia coli as β-galactosidase fusion proteins. The reactivities of antibodies 7-17 and 27-287 were determined by Western blot (immunoblot) analysis. Both antibodies recognized sequences between amino acids 608 and 625 of the primary gp58 translation product. The antibodies almost completely inhibited one another in a competitive binding assay with intact virus as antigen. Moreover, antibody 27-287 was able to inhibit the complement-independent neutralizing activity of antibody 7-17.