We have used a yeast genetic system to isolate cDNAs encoding proteins that specifically interact with the ligand-binding domain of human retinoid X receptor-alpha (RXR alpha). A number encoded portions of two known RXR heterodimer partners, the retinoic acid receptor (RAR) and the peroxisome proliferator activated receptor. Of four additional RXR-interacting proteins (RIPs) selected for further study two, RIP14 and RIP15, are previously unidentified orphan members of the nuclear receptor superfamily. Two others, RIP110 and RIP13, do not show significant similarities to previously reported proteins. RIP110 interacts with LexA-RXR only in yeast cells grown in the presence of the RXR ligand 9-cis-RA, while the interaction of the four receptor superfamily members and RIP13 is unaffected by the presence or absence of 9-cis-RA. RIP110 and RIP13 also interact in yeast with several other members of the receptor superfamily, but RIP14 and RIP15 interact only with RXR. Analysis of larger cDNA clones demonstrates that there are at least two isoforms of RIP14 that differ in the N-terminal (A and B) and hinge (D) domains. Northern blot analysis indicates that RIP14 is expressed specifically in liver and kidney, while RIP15 is expressed in every tissue tested. Both RIP14 and 15 bind as heterodimers with RXR to the RA response element (RARE) from the promoter of the RAR beta 2 isoform (the beta RARE), and RIP14 and RXR heterodimers also bind the ecdysone response element from the Drosophila heat shock protein 27 promoter. Both heterodimers also bind to several synthetic RAREs and other elements. In cotransfections, neither RIP14 nor RIP15 trans-activates a reporter containing multiple copies of the beta RARE under any of a variety of conditions, suggesting that their activities are dependent on the binding of as yet unidentified specific ligands or on activation by other processes.