Glycoprotein B (gB, gpUL55) is a major antigen for the induction of neutralizing antibodies against human cytomegalovirus, making it an attractive antigen for active and passive immunoprophylaxis. The immunodominant region on gB is the antigenic domain 1 (AD-1), a complex structure which requires a minimal linear amino acid sequence of more than 75 amino acids (aa 552-635) for antibody binding. We have analyzed the fine specificity cf neutralizing and nonneutralizing AD-1-binding monoclonal antibodies. Point mutations were introduced into AD-1 and mutants were expressed as bacterial fusion proteins. The antigens were analyzed in immunoblots using a panel of 13 human and murine monoclonal antibodies. Complete loss of binding of all antibodies was observed with mutations at cysteine residues 573 and 610 as well as with a combinatorial exchange of prolines at position 577 and 613. The remaining mutations had different effects on antibody binding. Six individual recognition patterns were observed, indicating various antigenic substructures on AD-1. Changing the Fc portions of 3 murine monoclonal antibodies to human IgG1 showed that neutralization of AD-1-binding immunoglobulins is exerted by different mechanisms. Dependent on the recognized substructure within AD-1, avidity-dependent as well as Fc portion-mediated effects were observed.