In the bovine herpes virus-1 (BHV-1) genome, a gene equivalent to the glycoprotein k (gK)-encoding gene of other herpesviruses was identified and sequenced. The primary translation product is predicted to comprise 338 amino acids (aa) and to exhibit a molecular mass of 37.5 kDa. It possesses characteristics typical for membrane glycoproteins including a potential cleavable signal sequence, three transmembrane domains and two potential N-linked glycosylation sites. Comparison to the gK proteins of the other herpesviruses revealed aa sequence homologies of 46, 44, 53, 43, and 46% with the gK counterparts of herpes simplex viruses-1 and 2 (HSV-1 and 2), equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1), Marek's disease virus (MDV) and varicella zoster virus (VZV), respectively. A 30-kDa primary translation product was identified following in vitro translation of in vitro transcribed mRNA. When canine microsomal membranes were added to the translation reaction, a 38-kDa glycosylated protein was detected. Treatment with endoglycosidase F or H (endo or H) removed the glycosyl groups and reduced the apparent molecular mass of the 38-kDa glycoprotein.