Interaction of the B7 molecule on antigen-presenting cells with its receptors CD28 and CTLA-4 on T cells provides costimulatory signals for T cell activation. We have studied the effects of B7 on antitumor immunity to a murine melanoma that expresses a rejection antigen associated with the E7 gene product of human papillomavirus 16. While this E7+ tumor grows progressively in immunocompetent hosts, cotransfection of its cells with B7 led to tumor regression by a B7-dependent immune response mediated by CD8+ cytolytic T lymphocytes. The immune response induced by E7+B7+ tumor cells also caused regression of E7+B7- tumors at distant sites and was curative for established E7+B7- micrometastases. Our findings suggest that increasing T cell costimulation through the CD28 and CTLA-4 receptors may have therapeutic usefulness for generating immunity against tumors expressing viral antigens.