The major envelope glycoprotein of the causative agent of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) lymphadenopathy-associated virus (LAV) has been identified and characterized. The glycoprotein has an apparent molecular weight of 110,000-120,000 under denaturing conditions in polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Upon deglycosylation by a specific endoglycosydase, its size is reduced to 80,000. Cellular precursors of this glycoprotein have been detected with apparent molecular weight of 150,000 and 135,000. Nearly all AIDS and pre-AIDS patients have detectable antibodies against this viral glycoprotein.