Nucleotide sequences were determined from the env genes of three HTLV-I clones derived from two North American patients and one African patient with adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATLL region, between env and the 3′LTR, were determined from one of these isolates. These data were compared to sequences derived from HTLV-I isolates of two Japanese ATLL patients, a Japanese patient with HTLV-I-associated myelopathy or tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP) and a Caribbean ATLL patient. Nucleotide sequence variation was found to be <6% in coding and noncoding regions. Predicted amino acid sequences varied between 0.6 and 1.8% in the envelope, 0-3.7% in rex, 0.8-2.5% in the tax gene product, and 3-14.0% in the pX-I open reading frame. Comparisons of the predicted amino acid sequences of the surface envelope protein (SU-gp46) suggest that the variation between isolates of different geographical origins is greater than that between isolates obtained from the same region of the world.