The major Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) envelope glycoprotein, gp350, was purified from the B95-8 cell line and analyzed for its ability to mediate virus attachment to the isolated EBV/C3d receptor (CR2) of human B lymphocytes. Purified gp350 and EBV, but not cytomegalovirus, exhibited dose-dependent binding to purified CR2 in dot blot immunoassays. Binding was inhibited by certain monoclonal antibodies to CR2 and to gp350. Liposomes bearing incorporated gp350 bound to CR2-positive B-cell lines but not to CR2-negative lines. Liposome binding was also inhibited by the OKB7 anti-CR2 monoclonal antibody. A computer-generated comparison of the deduced gp350 amino acid sequence with that of the human C3d complement fragment revealed two regions of significant primary sequence homology, a finding which suggests that a common region on these two unrelated proteins may be involved in CR2 binding.