The C-terminal G3 domains of lecticans mediate crosslinking to diverse extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins during ECM assembly, through their C-type lectin (CLD) subdomains. The structure of the rat aggrecan CLD in a Ca(2+)-dependent complex with fibronectin type III repeats 3-5 of rat tenascin-R provides detailed support for such crosslinking. The CLD loops bind Ca2+ like other CLDs, but no carbohydrate binding is observed or possible. This is thus the first example of a direct Ca(2+)-dependent protein-protein interaction of a CLD. Surprisingly, tenascin-R does not coordinate the Ca2+ ions directly. Electron microscopy confirms that full-length tenascin-R and tenascin-C crosslink hyaluronan-aggrecan complexes. The results are significant for the binding of all lectican CLDs to tenascin-R and tenascin-C. Comparison of the protein interaction surface with that of P-selectin in complex with the PGSL-1 peptide suggests that direct protein-protein interactions of Ca(2+)-binding CLDs may be more widespread than previously appreciated.