Infection by some human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) isolates is enhanced by the binding of subneutralizing concentrations of soluble receptor, soluble CD4 (sCD4), or monoclonal antibodies directed against the viral envelope glycoproteins. In this work, we studied the abilities of different antibodies to mediate activation of the envelope glycoproteins of a primary HIV-1 isolate, YU2, and identified the regions of gp120 envelope glycoprotein contributing to activation. Binding of antibodies to a variety of epitopes on gp120, including the CD4 binding site, the third variable (V3) loop, and CD4-induced epitopes, enhanced the entry of viruses containing YU2 envelope glycoproteins. Fab fragments of antibodies directed against either the CD4 binding site or V3 loop also activated YU2 virus infection. The activation phenotype was conferred on the envelope glycoproteins of a laboratory-adapted HIV-1 isolate (HXBc2) by replacing the gp120 V3 loop or V1/V2 and V3 loops with those of the YU2 virus. Infection by the YU2 virus in the presence of activating antibodies remained inhibitable by macrophage inhibitory protein 1beta, indicating dependence on the CCR5 coreceptor on the target cells. Thus, antibody enhancement of YU2 entry involves neither Fc receptor binding nor envelope glycoprotein cross-linking, is determined by the same variable loops that dictate enhancement by sCD4, and probably proceeds by a process fundamentally similar to the receptor-activated virus entry pathway.