Murine F9 and PCC4 teratoma cells do not express H-2 major transplantation antigens according to virus-specific T-lymphocyte cytotoxic or serological assays. However, such cells can be infected with and readily replicate many types of viruses (coxsackie B 3, mouse hepatitis, Sindbis, Semliki Forest [SFV], lymphocytic choriomeningitis, Pichinde, vesicular stomatitis, herpes simplex type 1) to the same extent as do murine F12 teratoma cells and mouse embryo fibroblasts, all of which express the H-2 determinants. In contrast, F9 and PCC4 cells are not productively infected with murine cytomegalovirus, whereas F12 and mouse embryo fibroblast cells are. In addition to replicating in H-2-negative murine teratoma cells, SFV replicates in H-2-negative murine lymphoblastoid cells. The ability of SFV to infect cells without H-2 antigens and then to effect viral antigenic expression in the cells' cytoplasm and on their surface with similar kinetics and in equivalent amounts as cells with H-2 antigens indicates that the H-2 receptor is not needed for SFV infection. Daudi cells, which lack HLA antigens, block the replication of SFV. This occurs at some point after receptor binding, as demonstrated by diminished viral mRNA. In addition, a possible membrane defect precludes viral exit in Daudi cells transfected with SFV infectious RNA. These results indicate that a cell's possession of H-2 antigens is not a requirement for SFV infection and that major histocompatibility complex antigens are not specific receptors for this virus.