The surface glycoprotein (gp95) of the feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) binds in a strain-specific manner to several cell surface molecules, including CXCR4, heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs), DC-SIGN, and a 43-kDa cell surface receptor on T cells recently identified as CD134 by M. Shimojima et al. (Science 303:1192-1195, 2004). CXCR4 is the entry receptor in all known cases, and the other molecules act as binding receptors to help facilitate infection. In this report, we confirm and extend the findings regarding CD134 as a primary receptor for FIV. In addition, we show that temperature critically influences the binding properties of FIV gp95 to CXCR4 and HSPGs. The data show that gp95 of the field strain FIV-PPR bound to CXCR4 at 22 degrees C, whereas binding was not detected at 4 degrees C. In contrast, binding of the laboratory adapted FIV-34TF10 gp95 was observed at either 4 degrees C or 22 degrees C, albeit at increased levels at the higher temperature. The level of CXCR4 increased after the temperature was switched from 4 to 22 degrees C, whereas the level of HSPGs decreased, resulting in higher binding of gp95 from both strains to CXCR4 and lower binding of gp95 of FIV-34TF10 to HSPGs (FIV-PPR gp95 does not bind to these molecules). The findings also show that HSPGs facilitate the CXCR4-mediated infectivity of CrFK and G355-5 cells by FIV-34TF10. These two nonlymphoid cell lines express very low levels of CXCR4 and are permissive to FIV-34TF10 but not to productive infection by FIV-PPR. However, overexpression of human CXCR4 in CrFK or G-355-5 cells resulted in extensive cell fusion and infection by FIV-PPR. Taken together, these findings indicate that factors that increase the effective concentration of CXCR4 enhance FIV infectivity and may involve (i) temperature or ligand-induced conformational changes in CXCR4 that enhance SU binding, (ii) coreceptor interactions with gp95 that either alter gp95 conformation to enhance CXCR4 binding and/or raise the localized concentration of receptor or ligand, or (iii) direct increase in CXCR4 concentration via overexpression.