Reduced expression in immortalized cells (REIC)/Dickkopf (Dkk)-3 is a tumor-suppressor gene and has been studied as a promising therapeutic gene for cancer gene therapy. Intratumoral injection of an adenovirus vector carrying the human REIC/Dkk-3 gene (Ad-REIC) elicits cancer cell-specific apoptosis and anticancer immune responses. The cytokine-like effect of secretory REIC/Dkk-3 on the induction of dendritic cell (DC)-like cell differentiation from monocytes plays a role in systemic anticancer immunity. In the present study, we generated recombinant full-length and N-terminally truncated REIC/Dkk-3 to characterize the biological activity of the protein. During the purification procedure, we identified a 17 kDa cysteine-rich stable product (C17-REIC) showing limited degradation. Further analysis showed that the C17-REIC domain was sufficient for the induction of DC-like cell differentiation from monocytes. Concomitant with the differentiation of DCs, the REIC/Dkk-3 protein induced the phosphorylation of glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK-3β) and signal transducers and activators of transcription (STAT) at a level comparable to that of granulocyte/macrophage colony-stimulating factor. In a mouse model of subcutaneous renal adenocarcinoma, intraperitoneal injection of full-length and C17-REIC proteins exerted anticancer effects in parallel with the activation of immunocompetent cells such as DCs and cytotoxic T lymphocytes in peripheral blood. Taken together, our results indicate that the stable cysteine-rich core region of REIC/Dkk-3 is responsible for the induction of anticancer immune responses. Because REIC/Dkk-3 is a naturally circulating serum protein, the upregulation REIC/Dkk-3 protein expression could be a promising option for cancer therapy.