Field isolates of foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) have been shown to use three alphav integrins, alphavbeta1, alphavbeta3, and alphavbeta6, as cellular receptors. Binding to the integrin is mediated by a highly conserved RGD motif located on a surface-exposed loop of VP1. The RGD tripeptide is recognized by several other members of the integrin family, which therefore have the potential to act as receptors for FMDV. Here we show that SW480 cells are made susceptible to FMDV following transfection with human beta8 cDNA and expression of alphavbeta8 at the cell surface. The involvement of alphavbeta8 in infection was confirmed by showing that virus binding and infection of the transfected cells are inhibited by RGD-containing peptides and by function-blocking monoclonal antibodies specific for either the alphavbeta8 heterodimer or the alphav chain. Similar results were obtained with a chimeric alphavbeta8 including the beta6 cytodomain (alphavbeta8/6), showing that the beta6 cytodomain can substitute efficiently for the corresponding region of beta8. In contrast, virus binding to alphavbeta6 including the beta8 cytodomain (alphavbeta6/8) was lower than that of the wild-type integrin, and this binding did not lead to infection. Further, the alphavbeta6 chimera was recognized poorly by antibodies specific for the ectodomain of alphavbeta6 and displayed a relaxed sequence-binding specificity relative to that of wild-type integrin. These data suggest that the beta6 cytodomain is important for maintaining alphavbeta6 in a conformation required for productive infection by FMDV.