A peptide library of HTLV-I Env and Tax proteins was constructed in yeast in order to characterize which domains of these proteins are immunogenic in HTLV-I-infected individuals. Five yeast colonies (A to E) were selected using HTLV-I positive plasma, and one yeast colony (F) was selected using rabbit anti-Tax sera. Plasmid DNA present in each positive clone was recovered and sequenced. Overlapping clones A to E covered the C-terminal part of the gp46 exterior glycoprotein (aa 197 to 305) and were all glycosylated. Clone F encoded the C-terminal 25 aa of Tax (aa 329-353). Recombinant peptides were recognized by more than 40% of the HTLV-I positive human sera, confirming that they are major immunodominant domains. We studied the antibody response to each recombinant peptide in patients with TSP/HAM and asymptomatic carriers. Higher absorbance values were obtained with sera from TSP/HAM patients than from asymptomatic carriers, but the difference between the two groups was not statistically significant. Our study confirms that the COOH-terminal region of gp46 is highly immunogenic in HTLV-I-infected individuals and demonstrates a new immunogenic epitope of the Tax protein.