The processing pathway of the major envelope glycoprotein complex, gp55-116 (gB), of human cytomegalovirus was studied using inhibitors of glycosylation and endoglycosidases. The results of these studies indicated that the mature gp55-116 is synthesized by the addition of both simple and complex N-linked sugars to a nonglycosylated precursor of estimated M(r) 105,000. In a rapid processing step, the M(r) 105,000 precursor is glycosylated to a protein of M(r) 150,000 (gp150) which contains only endoglycosidase H-sensitive sugar linkages. The gp150 is then processed relatively slowly to a M(r) 165,000 to 170,000 species (gp165-170), which is then cleaved to yield the mature gp55-116. Monensin prevented the final processing steps of the gp150, including cleavage, suggesting that transport through the Golgi apparatus is required for complete processing. Digestion of the intracellular forms of this complex as well as the virion forms confirmed the above findings and indicated that the mature virion form of gp55 contains 8,000 daltons of N-linked sugars. The virion gp116 contains some 52,000 to 57,000 daltons of N-linked carbohydrates and approximately 5,000 daltons of O-linked sugars.