Several expression systems were used in studies aimed at characterizing the equine herpesvirus 1 (EHV-1) glycoprotein H and L homologues of HSV-1 (EHV-1 gH and gL) and the products were compared to the authentic proteins synthesized in virus infected cells. Using an in vitro transcription/translation system two gH species were detected (an unprocessed 89 kDa and a processed 116 kDa product). Three low molecular weight proteins were found in the case of gL (21.8 kDa, 22.9 kDa and 26.9 kDa) and these showed a slight reduction in mobility on the addition of microsomal membranes to the reactions. A gL fusion protein was produced in pGEX-2T, expression being confirmed by Western blotting using a gL-specific antiserum raised against a peptide incorporating the 13 carboxyl terminal amino acids of the protein. A gH specific peptide antiserum precipitated both gH and two smaller proteins from EHV-1 infected cells thought to be two forms of gL. Insect cells infected with gH or gL baculovirus recombinants were used to vaccinate C3H (H-2k) mice. Some protection against EHV-1 infection was conferred to the gH inoculated mice. The results will enable further studies on the importance of the gH and gL interaction in the pathogenesis of EHV-1 to be evaluated and their potential in contributing to a subunit vaccine to be assessed.