The core fusion machinery of all herpesviruses consists of three conserved glycoproteins, gB and gHgL, suggesting a common mechanism for virus cell fusion, but fusion of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) with B cells and epithelial cells is initiated differently. Fusion with B cells requires a fourth protein, gp42, which complexes with gHgL and interacts with HLA class II, the B-cell coreceptor. Fusion with an epithelial cell does not require gp42 but requires interaction of gHgL with a novel epithelial cell coreceptor. Epithelial cell fusion can be inhibited by gp42 binding to gHgL and by antibodies to gH that fail to block B-cell fusion. This suggests that regions of gHgL initiating fusion with each cell are separable from each other and from regions involved in fusion itself. To address this possibility we mapped the region of gH recognized by a monoclonal antibody to gH that blocks EBV fusion with epithelial cells but not B cells by making a series of chimeras with the gH homolog of rhesus lymphocryptovirus. Proteins with mutations engineered within this region included those that preferentially mediate fusion with B cells, those that preferentially mediate fusion with epithelial cells, and those that mediate fusion with neither cell type. These results support the hypothesis that the core fusion function of gH is the same for B cells and epithelial cells and that it differs only in the way in which it is triggered into a functionally active state.