To address the role of CXCR4 in the cell-surface attachment of the feline immunodeficency virus (FIV), a soluble fusion protein, gp95-Fc, consisting of the surface glycoprotein (SU, gp95) of either a primary (PPR) or cell line-adapted (34TF10) FIV strain was fused in frame with the Fc domain of human immunoglobulin G1. The recombinant SU-immunoadhesins were used as probes to investigate the cellular binding of FIV SU. In agreement with the host cell range properties of both viruses, binding of 34TF10 gp95-Fc was observed for all cell lines tested, whereas PPR gp95-Fc bound only to primary feline T cells. 34TF10 gp95-Fc also bound to Jurkat and HeLa cells, consistent with the ability of FIV to use human CXCR4 as a fusion receptor. As expected, 34TF10 gp95-Fc binding to Jurkat cells was blocked by addition of stromal cell-derived factor 1alpha (SDF-1alpha), as was binding to the 3201 feline lymphoma cell line. However, SDF-1alpha, RANTES, macrophage inflammatory protein 1beta, and heparin all failed to inhibit the binding of either gp95-Fc to primary T cells, suggesting that a non-CXCR4 receptor is involved in the binding of FIV SU. In this regard, an unidentified 40-kDa protein species from the surface of primary T cells but not Jurkat and 3201 cells specifically coprecipitated with both gp95-Fc. Yet another type of binding of 34TF10 gp95-Fc to adherent kidney cells was noted. SDF-1alpha failed to block the binding of 34TF10 gp95-Fc to either HeLa, Crandel feline leukemia, or G355-5 cells. However, binding was severely impaired in the presence of soluble heparin, as well as after enzymatic removal of surface heparans or on cells deficient in heparan expression. These overall findings suggest that in addition to CXCR4, a non-CXCR4 receptor and cell-surface heparans also play an important role in FIV gp95 cell surface interactions on specific target cells.