The 37-kDa/67 kDa laminin receptor (LRP/LR) represents a multifunctional protein. It is a receptor for viruses such as Dengue viruses, Alphaviruses and Adeno-associated viruses (AAV), as well as the cellular prion protein (PrPc) and infectious prions. Furthermore, the 37-kDa/67-kDa LRP/LR plays fundamental roles in basic cell biological processes such as cell adhesion and cell growth and acts as a key player in metastatic cancer, affecting invasion, adhesion and apoptotic processes. This review gives fundamental insights into basic cellular processes affected by LRP/LR including signal transduction and cell cycle progression and focuses on pathophysiological implications of the interaction of prion proteins, laminin, viruses and other ligands with LRP/LR affecting the development of highly-prevalent diseases such as cancer, neurodegenerative diseases such as prion disorders and Alzheimer's disease as well as viral infections. Molecular tools such as LRP/LR specific antibodies and siRNAs targeting LRP expression as possible alternative therapeutics for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, metastatic cancer and viral infections are emphasized.