Although the HIV gp120 binding site of CD4 is well characterized, its interaction site with HLA class II molecules is still controversial. Sixty-seven mutations within the four extracellular domains of CD4 were examined for their effects on cell surface expression and conformational changes and for adhesion of HLA class II-expressing B lymphocytes and HIV gp120 binding to CD4-transfected COS cells. Mutations within the gp120 binding site affected both assays similarly, indicating that the two sites fully overlap. A few additional substitutions of residues mapping on the same face of domains 1 and 2 induced decreased rosette formation. Molecular modeling studies indicated that this is likely to be the consequence of conformational changes induced by the mutations. Thus, CD4 appears to interact with HLA class II molecules mainly through the HIV gp120 binding site and possibly through a second minor interaction site mapping on the same face of the molecule.