Viral envelope (Env)-receptor interactions have been implicated in the cell death associated with infection by subgroups B and D avian leukosis-sarcoma viruses (ALVs). A chicken protein, CAR1, was identified that permitted infection of mammalian cells by these viral subgroups. CAR1 bound to a viral Env fusion protein, comprising an ALV-B surface Env protein and the Fc region of an immunoglobulin, indicating that it is a specific viral receptor. CAR1 contains two extracellular cysteine-rich domains characteristic of the TNFR family and a cytoplasmic region strikingly similar to the death domain of TNFR1 and Fas, implicating this receptor in cell killing. Chicken embryo fibroblasts susceptible to ALV-B infection and transfected quail QT6 cells expressing CAR1 underwent apoptosis in response to the Env-Ig fusion protein, demonstrating that this cytopathic ALV receptor can mediate cell death.