CD27 is a dimeric membrane glycoprotein found on the surface of most human T lymphocytes. Activation of T cells by engagement of the Ag receptor increases CD27 surface expression, and anti-CD27 antibodies augment Ag receptor-mediated T cell proliferation. In this study a cDNA-encoding CD27 was isolated by expression and immunoselection in COS cells. The predicted polypeptide was found to belong to a recently characterized family of cysteine-rich receptors whose known ligands include nerve growth factor and TNF-alpha and -beta. Structural similarities suggest that CD27 belongs to a lymphocyte-specific subgroup of the family, comprised of the B cell Ag CD40, the rat T cell subset Ag OX40, and the mouse T cell activation Ag 4-1BB. Recent studies suggest some of these molecules may play a role in the survival of activated cells.