Rong et al. have demonstrated previously that with a few substitutions, the fourth repeat of human low-density lipoprotein (hLDL-A4) receptor can functionally replace the LDL-A module of Tva, the cellular receptor for subgroup A avian sarcoma and leukosis virus (ASLV-A), in viral entry (L. Rong, K. Gendron, and P. Bates, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 95:8467-8472, 1998). Here we have shown that swapping the amino terminus of hLDL repeat 5 (hLDL-A5) with that of Tva, in addition to the corresponding substitutions made in human LDL-A4, was required to convert hLDL-A5 into an efficient ASLV-A receptor. These results substantiated our previous findings regarding the role of the specific residues in the viral interaction domain of Tva and demonstrated the critical role of the amino terminus of the Tva LDL-A module in ASLV-A infection. Furthermore, we have shown that the residues between cysteines 2 and 3 of the Tva LDL-A module in a Tva/LDL-A5 chimeric protein can be functionally replaced by the corresponding region of another LDL-A module, human LDL receptor-related protein repeat 22 (LDL-A22), to mediate efficient ASLV-A entry. Since the only conserved feature between the C2-C3 region of LDL-A22 and the Tva LDL-A module is that both contain nine amino acids of which none are conserved, we conclude that the spacing between C2 and C3 of the LDL-A module of Tva is an important determinant for ASLV-A entry. Thus, the present study provides strong evidence to support our hypothesis that one role of the N terminus of the LDL-A module of Tva is to allow proper folding and conformation of the protein for optimal interaction with the viral glycoprotein EnvA in ASLV-A entry.