The polypeptides of seven strains of human treponemes were investigated by immunoblot analysis for their binding to the human placental collagens and laminin. Of the treponemal polypeptides, eleven polypeptides, 45-kDa, 49-kDa, and 62-kDa polypeptides from T. pallidum ATCC 27087, a 48-kDa polypeptide from T. phagedenis biotype Reiter, 51-kDa and 53-kDa polypeptides from T. vincentii ATCC 35580, 30-kDa, 53-kDa and 63-kDa polypeptides from T. socranskii subsp. buccale ATCC 35534, a 52-kDa polypeptide from T. denticola ATCC 35405, and a 53-kDa polypeptide from T. denticola ATCC 33520 possessed an ability to bind to the laminin, type I, III, IV, or V collagen. An intermediate-sized human oral isolate strain G7201 did not possess any laminin- or collagen-binding polypeptides. Immunoelectron microscopy using intact treponemal cells with a single collagen-binding polypeptide and the corresponding antisera demonstrated that the 51-kDa and 53-kDa polypeptides from T. vincentii, the 53-kDa polypeptide from T. socranskii subsp. buccale ATCC 35534 and the 52-kDa polypeptide from T. denticola ATCC 35405, were outer envelope proteins.