Astroviruses are nonenveloped particles with a distinctive star-shaped surface structure that have been detected by electron microscopy in stool samples from humans and animals with gastroenteritis. We examined the patterns of macromolecular synthesis in astrovirus-infected cells with a goal of establishing a molecular basis for taxonomic classification. Trypsin is required for continuous replication of astrovirus in cultured cells; however, during a single cycle of infection, astrovirus antigen was synthesized earlier and at higher levels when serum, rather than trypsin, was included in the growth medium. This enhanced production of antigen, as measured by enzyme immunoassay, was accompanied by the appearance of aggregates of virus particles in the cytoplasm of infected cells. During astrovirus replication in cells cultured in the presence of serum, we detected a single infection-specific protein (90 kDa) beginning at 12 h postinfection. This protein was recognized by antiastrovirus rabbit serum and was sensitive to trypsin digestion in vitro, with the concomitant appearance of three smaller immunoreactive proteins (31, 29, and 20 kDa). We also detected two dactinomycin-resistant RNAs (7.2 and 2.8 kb), both of which were polyadenylated, in the cytoplasm of astrovirus-infected cells. The larger of these two RNAs is presumably the viral genome, whereas the smaller species may be a subgenomic messenger. Comparison of the proteins and RNAs synthesized in astrovirus-infected cells with those of the recognized families of nonenveloped single-stranded RNA animal viruses suggests that astroviruses should not be classified as members of either Caliciviridae or Picornaviridae.