Recently, we identified the 37-kDa laminin receptor precursor (LRP) as an interactor for the prion protein (PrP). Here, we show the presence of the 37-kDa LRP and its mature 67-kDa form termed high-affinity laminin receptor (LR) in plasma membrane fractions of N2a cells, whereas only the 37-kDa LRP was detected in baby hamster kidney (BHK) cells. PrP co-localizes with LRP/LR on the surface of N2a cells and Semliki Forest virus (SFV) RNA transfected BHK cells. Cell-binding assays reveal the LRP/LR-dependent binding of cellular PrP by neuronal and non-neuronal cells. Hyperexpression of LRP on the surface of BHK cells results in the binding of exogenous PrP. Cell binding is similar in PrP(+/+) and PrP(0/0) primary neurons, demonstrating that PrP does not act as a co-receptor of LRP/LR. LRP/LR-dependent internalization of PrP is blocked at 4 degrees C. Secretion of an LRP mutant lacking the transmembrane domain (aa 86-101) from BHK cells abolishes PrP binding and internalization. Our results show that LRP/LR acts as the receptor for cellular PrP on the surface of mammalian cells.