Subsets of axons in the embryonic nervous system transiently express the glycoprotein TAG-1, a member of the subfamily of immunoglobulin (Ig)-like proteins that contain both C2 class Ig and fibronectin type III domains. TAG-1 is attached to the cell surface by a glycosylphosphatidylinositol linkage and is secreted by neurons. In vitro studies have shown that substrate-bound TAG-1 promotes neurite outgrowth. We have examined the nature of axonal receptors that mediate the neurite-outgrowth promoting properties of TAG-1. Although TAG-1 can mediate homophilic binding, neurite outgrowth on a substrate of TAG-1 does not depend on the presence of TAG-1 on the axonal surface. Instead, neurite outgrowth on TAG-1 is inhibited by polyclonal antibodies directed against L1 and, independently, by polyclonal and monoclonal antibodies against beta 1-containing integrins. These results provide evidence that TAG-1 can interact with cell surfaces in both a homophilic and heterophilic manner and suggest that neurite extension on TAG-1 requires the function of both integrins and an L1-like molecule.