The complete coding sequence of a novel protein (828 amino acids, pI 5.99), a potential new mediator of vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) activity was recently revealed. The expression of this molecule, activity-dependent neuroprotective protein (ADNP), was augmented in the presence of VIP, in cerebral cortical astrocytes. The mRNA transcripts encoding ADNP were enriched in the mouse hippocampus and cerebellum. The protein deduced sequence contained the following: (1) a unique peptide, NAPVSIPQ, sharing structural and immunological homologies with the previously reported, activity-dependent neurotrophic factor (ADNF) and exhibiting neuroprotection in vitro and in vivo; (2) a glutaredoxin active site; and (3) a classical zinc binding domain. Comparative studies suggested that the peptide, NAPVSIPQ (NAP), was more efficacious than peptides derived from ADNF. ADNP, a potential mediator of VIP-associated neuronal survival, and the new peptide, a potential lead compound for drug design, are discussed below.