B-cell activating factor (BAFF) is a key regulator of B-lymphocyte development. Its biological role is mediated by the specific receptors BCMA, TACI and BAFF-R. We have determined the crystal structure of the extracellular domain of BAFF-R bound to BAFF at a resolution of 3.3 A. The cysteine-rich domain (CRD) of the BAFF-R extracellular domain adopts a beta-hairpin structure and binds to the virus-like BAFF cage in a 1:1 molar ratio. The conserved DxL motif of BAFF-R is located on the tip of the beta-turn and is indispensable in the binding of BAFF. The crystal structure shows that a unique dimeric contact occurs between the BAFF-R monomers in the virus-like cage complex. The extracellular domain of TACI contains two CRDs, both of which contain the DxL motif. Modeling of TACI-BAFF complex suggests that both CDRs simultaneously interact with the BAFF dimer in the virus-like cage.