Activation of fibroblast growth factor (FGF) signaling is initiated by a multiprotein complex formation between FGF, FGF receptor (FGFR), and heparan sulfate proteoglycan on the cell membrane. Cross-talk with other factors could affect this complex assembly and modulate the biological response of cells to FGF. We have previously demonstrated that anosmin-1, a glycosylated extracellular matrix protein, interacts with the FGFR1 signaling complex and enhances its activity in an IIIc isoform-specific and HS-dependent manner. The molecular mechanism of anosmin-1 action on FGFR1 signaling, however, remains unknown. Here, we show that anosmin-1 directly binds to FGFR1 with high affinity. This interaction involves domains in the N terminus of anosmin-1 (cysteine-rich region, whey acidic protein-like domain and the first fibronectin type III domain) and the D2-D3 extracellular domains of FGFR1. In contrast, anosmin-1 binds to FGFR2IIIc with much lower affinity and displays negligible binding to FGFR3IIIc. We also show that FGFR1-bound anosmin-1, although capable of binding to FGF2 alone, cannot bind to a FGF2.heparin complex, thus preventing FGFR1.FGF2.heparin complex formation. By contrast, heparin-bound anosmin-1 binds to pre-formed FGF2.FGFR1 complex, generating an anosmin-1.FGFR1.FGF2.heparin complex. Furthermore, a functional interaction between anosmin-1 and the FGFR1 signaling complex is demonstrated by immunofluorescence co-localization and Transwell migration assays where anosmin-1 was shown to induce opposing effects during chemotaxis of human neuronal cells. Our study provides molecular and cellular evidence for a modulatory action of anosmin-1 on FGFR1 signaling, whereby binding of anosmin-1 to FGFR1 and heparin can play a dual role in assembly and activity of the ternary FGFR1.FGF2.heparin complex.