The human epidermal growth factor receptor has been purified and partial amino acid sequence obtained. A synthetic oligonucleotide was used to select complementary DNA clones from placental and A431 clone banks. The nucleotide sequence of a 5.8 kilobase transcript was determined and used to predict the total amino acid sequence of the receptor. We have predicted a model for the receptor which has an external ligand binding domain of 621 amino acids, a transmembrane region of 23 amino acids, and a cytoplasmic domain of 542 amino acids having protein tyrosine kinase activity. The kinase autophosphorylation sites have been mapped onto the primary amino acid sequence. Analysis of protein sequence databases have shown that the erb-B oncogene of avian erythroblastosis virus has acquired part of the avian EGF receptor gene. The hypothesis has been proposed that transformation by this virus is the result of expression of a truncated EGF receptor which lacks the majority of the EGF binding domain and delivers a continuous proliferation signal to transformed cells. We describe here the production of polyclonal and monoclonal antibodies to selected synthetic peptides from the EGF receptor and v-erb B sequences. Antisera to sequences encompassing the three major sites of autophosphorylation and the putative ATP binding site all recognize the native EGF receptor molecule. We have used these reagents to test our model of EGF receptor structure and v-erb B function.