EBV binds and infects HSB-2 T cells via a receptor distinct from CD21. To further study this novel EBV receptor, we expressed the first 470 amino acids of the EBV-gp350/220 using the baculovirus expression system. The recombinant gp350/220(1-470) has a m.w. of 95 kDa, reacts with anti-gp350/220 Abs, and binds CD21 in ELISA. Radiolabeled gp350/220(1-470) binds both HSB-2 and Raji cells. The gp350/220(1-470) protein also inhibits EBV binding to both HSB-2 and Raji, detected by flow cytometry. Lysates of HSB-2 cells compete with CD21 for binding to gp350/220(1-470), suggesting that the two receptors bind related epitopes on the recombinant protein. Scatchard analysis reveals that gp350/220(1-470) binds to 34,000 high affinity sites/HSB-2 cell (Kd = 0.92 x 10(-8) M) compared with the 97,000 high affinity sites bound/Raji cell (Kd = 1.78 x 10(-8) M). Utilizing a gp350/220(1-470)-affinity matrix, we identify a 70-kDa (55-kDa nonreduced) protein on the surfaces of 125I-labeled HSB-2 cells. Binding of this protein to the matrix is inhibited by anti-gp350/220 Ab 72A1. In summary, we characterize a novel EBV-binding molecule on HSB-2 cells, compare its reactivity with gp350/220 to that of CD21, and provide evidence of a gp350/220-reactive, 70-kDa protein on the surfaces of HSB-2 cells. In view of previous evidence of HSB-2 infectivity by EBV, we propose that the 70 kDa protein represents the novel EBV receptor.