A surface glycoprotein (gp57/67) was previously shown to be involved in measles virus (MV) binding and characterized in our laboratory. Here, we described down-regulation of cell surface gp57/67 after infection with MV. This effect is specific for MV since cells infected with canine distemper virus, closely related to MV, did not down-regulate gp57/67. The decrease in cell surface gp57/67 correlated with expression of MV glycoproteins and more particularly with the expression of MV haemagglutinin (MV-H). Indeed, expression of MV-H after infection with a vaccinia virus recombinant coding for MV-H was necessary and sufficient to induce down-regulation of gp57/67. Kinetics of cell surface expression of MV-H and gp57/67 showed that the degree of down-regulation was correlated with the amount of MV-H expressed by infected cells. Experiments using antibody-prelabelled gp57/67 and indirect immunofluorescence microscopy allowed us to follow the fate of gp57/67 and showed that down-regulation was occurring by rapid internalization of gp57/67 from the cell surface. These results provide additional evidence that the gp57/67 molecule is closely associated with the pathway of MV infection and also reveal a phenomenon which may be related to viral pathogenesis and persistence.