Human teratocarcinoma-derived viruses (HTDV) are retrovirus-like particles that are regularly observed by electron microscopy at low frequency in cell lines established from human teratocarcinomas. Over the last years, one of our teratocarcinoma cell lines spontaneously began to produce high amounts of HTDV. This cell line is stained in immunofluorescence tests by an antiserum raised against recombinant gag protein of HERV-K, an expressed human endogenous retrovirus sequence. In immunoelectron microscopy of ultrathin frozen sections, this anti HERV-Kgag-specific antiserum reacts specifically with HTDV particles. In Western blots, the antiserum recognizes predominantly a protein with an apparent molecular weight of 30 kDa, presumably the major core protein of HTDV particles. Taken together, these results provide evidence that HERV-K codes for HTDV.