Two murine monoclonal antibodies, N901 (anti-CD56) and anti-B4 (anti-CD19), were humanized by a process we call "resurfacing." A systematic analysis of known antibody structures has been used to determine the relative solvent accessibility distributions of amino acid residues in murine and human antibody variable (Fv) regions and has shown that the sequence alignment positions of surface amino acids for human and murine variable region heavy (VH) and light (VL) chains are conserved with 98% fidelity across species. While the amino acid usage at these surface positions creates surface residue patterns that are conserved within species, there are no identical patterns across species. However, surprisingly few amino acid changes need to be made to convert a murine Fv surface pattern to that characteristic of a human surface. Resurfacing was used to change the patterns of surface accessible residues in the Fv regions of the N901 and anti-B4 antibodies to resemble those found on the Fv regions of human antibody sequences. Two different procedures for selecting a human sequence were compared. For anti-B4, a data base of clonally derived human VL-VH sequence pairs was used, while for N901, sequences for VL and VH were independently selected from the Kabat et al. data base [Kabat, E. A., Wu, T. T., Reid-Miller, M., Perry, H. M. & Gottesman, K. S. (1991) Sequences of Proteins of Immunological Interest (DHHS, Washington, DC), 5th Ed.]. Resurfaced N901 and anti-B4 antibodies had apparent affinities for their cell surface ligands that were identical to those of their respective parent murine antibodies. These data provide evidence that, despite the differences in the surfaces of mouse and human Fv regions, it is possible to substitute one for the other while retaining full antigen binding affinity.