During the past decade the mechanism of CTL-mediated killing has been resolved into 3 steps, and its cation requirements, and general nature have been well defined. However, biochemical understanding of the CTL-target interaction has made little progress. Recently, we have developed a monoclonal antibody (MAb) which blocks killing by binding to a previously undescribed molecule on the CTL membrane, a molecule which we therefore have termed lymphocyte function-associated antigen one (LFA-1). LFA-1 and Lyt-2,3 are the only presently identified sites for such blocking; antibodies to over a dozen other molecules expressed on the CTL do not block killing. Present evidence suggests that LFA-1 is crucial in the adhesive interaction of T cells with other cells (e.g., targets, macrophages, perhaps B cells) The continuing search for blocking MAbs provides a systematic way to link specific molecules with CTL function.