Entry of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) into B cells is initiated by attachment of glycoprotein gp350 to the complement receptor type 2 (CR2). A complex of three glycoproteins, gH, gL, and gp42, is subsequently required for penetration. Gp42 binds to HLA class II, which functions as an entry mediator or coreceptor and, by analogy with other herpesviruses, gH is then thought to be involved virus-cell fusion. However, entry of virus into epithelial cells is thought to be different. It can be initiated by attachment by an unknown glycoprotein in the absence of CR2. There is no interaction between gp42 and HLA class II and instead a distinct complex of only the two glycoproteins gH and gL interacts with a novel entry mediator. Again, by analogy with other viruses gH is thought to be critical to fusion. To investigate further the different roles of gH in infection of the two cell types and to examine its influence on the assembly of the gH-gL-gp42 complex, we constructed two viruses, one in which the gH open reading frame was interrupted by a cassette expressing a neomycin resistance gene and the gene for green fluorescent protein and one as a control in which the neighboring nonessential thymidine kinase gene was interrupted with the same cassette. Virus lacking gH exited from cells normally, although loss of gH resulted in rapid turnover of gL and gp42 as well. The virus bound normally to B lymphocytes but could not infect them unless cells and bound virus were treated with polyethylene glycol to induce fusion. In contrast, virus that lacked the gH complex was impaired in attachment to epithelial cells and the effects of monoclonal antibodies to gH implied that this resulted from loss of gH rather than other members of the complex. These results suggest a role for gH in both attachment and penetration into epithelial cells.