The human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) external envelope glycoprotein gp120 tightly binds CD4 as its principal cellular receptor, explaining the tropism of HIV-1 for CD4+ cells. Nevertheless, reports documenting HIV infection or HIV binding in cells lacking CD4 surface expression have raised the possibility that cellular receptors in addition to CD4 may interact with HIV envelope. Moreover, the lymphocyte adhesion molecule LFA-1 appears to play an important role in augmenting HIV-1 viral spread and cytopathicity in vitro, although the mechanism of this function is still not completely defined. In the course of characterizing a human anti- HIV gp41 monoclonal antibody, we transfected a CD4-negative. LFA-1-negative B-cell line to express an anti-gp41 immunoglobulin receptor (surface immunoglobulin [sIg]/gp41). Despite acquiring the ability to bind HIV envelope, such transfected B cells could not be infected by HIV-1. These cells were not intrinsically defective for supporting HIV-1 infection, because when directed to produce surface CD4 by using retroviral constructs, they acquired the ability to replicate HIV-1. Interestingly, transfected cells expressing both surface CD4 and sIg/gp41 receptors replicated HIV much better than cells expressing only CD4. The enhancement resided specifically in sIg/gp41, because isotype-specific, anti-IgG1 antibodies directed against sIg/gp41 blocked the enhancement. These data directly establish the ability of a cell surface anti-gp41 receptor to enhance HIV-1 replication.