The cellular protein, cyclophilin A (CypA), is incorporated into the virion of the type 1 human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1) via a direct interaction with the capsid domain of the viral Gag polyprotein. We demonstrate that the capsid sequence 87His-Ala-Gly-Pro-Ile-Ala92 (87HAGPIA92) encompasses the primary cyclophilin A binding site and present an X-ray crystal structure of the CypA/HAGPIA complex. In contrast to the cis prolines observed in all previously reported structures of CypA complexed with model peptides, the proline in this peptide, Pro 90, binds the cyclophilin A active site in a trans conformation. We also report the crystal structure of a complex between CypA and the hexapeptide HVGPIA, which also maintains the trans conformation. Comparison with the recently determined structures of CypA in complexes with larger fragments of the HIV-1 capsid protein demonstrates that CypA recognition of these hexapeptides involves contacts with peptide residues Ala(Val) 88, Gly 89, and Pro 90, and is independent of the context of longer sequences.