A fourth member of the emerging TRAIL receptor family, TRAIL-R4, has been cloned and characterized. TRAIL-R4 encodes a 386-amino acid protein with an extracellular domain showing 58%-70% identity to those of TRAIL-R1, TRAIL-R2, and TRAIL-R3. The signaling capacity of TRAIL-R4 is similar to that of TRAIL-R1 and TRAIL-R2 with respect to NF-kappaB activation, but differs in its inability to induce apoptosis. Yet TRAIL-R4 retains a C-terminal element containing one third of a consensus death domain motif. Transient overexpression of TRAIL-R4 in cells normally sensitive to TRAIL-mediated killing confers complete protection, suggesting that one function of TRAIL-R4 may be inhibition of TRAIL cytotoxicity. Like TRAIL-R1 and TRAIL-R2, this receptor shows widespread tissue expression. The human TRAIL-R4 gene has been mapped to chromosome 8p22-21, clustered with three other TRAIL receptors.