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CD4, a member of the immunoglobulin superfamily of receptors that mediates cell-cell interactions in the immune system, is the primary receptor for HIV-1. The extracellular portion of CD4 is a concatenation of four immunoglobulin-like domains, D1 to D4. The D1, D2 and D4 domains each contain a disulfide bond. We show here that the D2 disulfide bond is redox-active. The redox state of the thiols (disulfide versus dithiol) appeared to be regulated by thioredoxin, which is secreted by CD4(+) T cells. Locking the CD4 and the thioredoxin active-site dithiols in the reduced state with a hydrophilic trivalent arsenical blocked entry of HIV-1 into susceptible cells. These findings indicate that redox changes in CD4 D2 are important for HIV-1 entry and represent a new target for HIV-1 entry inhibitors.