cDNA clones encoding the human and murine interleukin-7 (IL-7) receptor were isolated and expressed in COS-7 cells. Binding of radiolabeled IL-7 to the recombinant IL-7 receptors produced curvilinear Scatchard plots containing high and low affinity classes. These binding properties, as well as the molecular size of the cloned receptor, were comparable to the native forms of the IL-7 receptor. In addition, several cDNA clones were isolated that encode a secreted form of the human IL-7 receptor capable of binding IL-7 in solution. Analysis of the sequence of the IL-7 receptor revealed significant homology in the extracellular domain to several recently cloned cytokine receptors, demonstrating that the IL-7 receptor is a member of a new receptor superfamily.