We identified and cloned a cellular mediator of herpes simplex virus (HSV) entry. Hamster and swine cells resistant to viral entry became susceptible upon expression of a human cDNA encoding this protein, designated HVEM (for herpesvirus entry mediator). HVEM was shown to mediate the entry of several wild-type HSV strains of both serotypes. Anti-HVEM antibodies and a soluble hybrid protein containing the HVEM ectodomain inhibited HVEM-dependent infection but not virus binding to cells. Mutations in the HSV envelope glycoprotein gD significantly reduced HVEM-mediated entry. The contribution of HVEM to HSV entry into human cells was demonstrable in activated T cells. HVEM, the first identified mediator of HSV entry, is a new member of the TNF/NGF receptor family.