The immunochemistry of two homologous uniquely antigenic peptides representing Ala582 to Cys604 in the transmembrane proteins of simian immunodeficiency virus of rhesus macaque origin, SIVmac (closely related to HIV-2) and HIV-1 (strain HTLV-IIIB) was characterized at the resolution of single amino acids. Five different antigenic sites were identified in the SIVmac peptide by use of 34 mAb against this peptide and two different sites were similarly demonstrated in the HIV-1 peptide by use of 10 peptide-specific mAb. Within some sites the mAb could be subgrouped to show a progressively more narrow epitopic dependence on amino acids in the central part of the site. Three SIVmac peptide mAbs had a remarkably narrow amino acid dependence, Glu584 and Tyr586. Anti-peptide mAbs reacting with the site Trp596 to Gln602 effectively blocked the capacity of the peptide to react with human postinfection HIV-2 antibodies previously demonstrated to have a restricted reactivity involving this site. No similar blocking was seen when mAb specific for Leu587 to Gln590 were used except with a single broadly reacting HIV-2 serum, which depended on an amino acid at a distance of only 6 residues, Trp596. A cross-reacting site involving amino acids Ala582 to Glu588/Lys588 was identified with mAb and rabbit hyperimmune sera against the two peptides. This site was not accessible in the intact transmembrane proteins as determined by ELISA and Western blot tests. Antipeptide mAb against other sites as well as rabbit sera reacted strongly in these tests and can be used as type-specific, component-unique reagents.