We have identified a cellular protein from a continuous mosquito cell line (C6/36) that appears to play a significant role in the attachment of Venezuelan equine encephalitis (VEE) virus to these cells. VEE virus bound to a 32-kDa polypeptide present in the C6/36 plasma membrane fraction, and binding to this polypeptide was dose dependent and saturable and competed with homologous and heterologous alphaviruses. These observations suggest that this polypeptide binds virus via a receptor-ligand interaction. The 32-kDa polypeptide was expressed on the surfaces of C6/36 cells, and monoclonal antibodies directed against either this cell polypeptide or the VEE virus E2 glycoprotein, which is thought to be the viral attachment protein, interfered with virus attachment. Collectively, these data provide evidence suggesting that the 32-kDa polypeptide serves as a receptor for VEE virus infection of cells. We have characterized this cell polypeptide as a laminin-binding protein on the basis of its ability to interact directly with laminin as well as its immunologic cross-reactivity with the high-affinity human laminin receptor.