Type-variants of gp70 (glycoprotein-70), which is the major envelope protein of C-type mouse virus and is also found in plasma membranes, are identified immunogenetically by the antigens Gix and Ec. Cellular expression of Gix+ gp70 does not depend on production of virus, but expression of Ec+ gp70 (formerly X-gp70) has been observed only in AKR and other strains of mice that produce large amounts of virus throughout life. To test the inference that cellular expression of Ec+ gp70 is secondary to production of virus we examined the effect of Fv-1 alleles, which govern the replicability of N-tropic and B-tropic C-type virus, on the expression of Ec+ gp70 on thymocytes. By typing thymocytes of Fv-1-congenic mice for Ec+ gp70 was found that manifestation of the Ec+ gp70 phenotype requires the Fv-1n allele, which is permissive for replication of N-tropic virus produced by AKR and other virus-producing mouse strains. Substitution of the Fv-1b allele for the Fv-1n allele abolishes demonstrable expression of Ec+ gp70 by AKR thymocytes at ages up to 9 mo, the oldest AKR mice tested.