The accumulation of misfolded proteins in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) causes ER stress that initiates the unfolded protein response (UPR). UPR activates both adaptive and apoptotic pathways, which contribute differently to disease pathogenesis. To further understand the functional mechanisms of UPR, we identified 12 commonly UPR-upregulated genes by expression microarray analysis. Here, we describe characterization of Armet/MANF, one of the 12 genes whose function was not clear. We demonstrated that the Armet/MANF protein was upregulated by various forms of ER stress in several cell lines as well as by cerebral ischemia of rat. Armet/MANF was localized in the ER and Golgi and was also a secreted protein. Silencing Armet/MANF by siRNA oligos in HeLa cells rendered cells more susceptible to ER stress-induced death, but surprisingly increased cell proliferation and reduced cell size. Overexpression of Armet/MANF inhibited cell proliferation and improved cell viability under glucose-free conditions and tunicamycin treatment. Based on its inhibitory properties for both proliferation and cell death we have demonstrated, Armet is, thus, a novel secreted mediator of the adaptive pathway of UPR.