Fas is a 45-kD cell surface protein belonging to the tumor necrosis factor/nerve growth factor receptor family, and transduces the signal for apoptosis. The cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) hybridoma, PC60-d10S requires the presence of Fas on target cells to induce cytolysis in target cells. This CTL cell line was weakly but specifically stained by a chimeric protein that consisted of the extracellular domain of mouse Fas and the Fc portion of human immunoglobulin G1 (mFas-Fc). Moreover, mFas-Fc inhibited the cytotoxic activity of PC60-d10S. Sublines of d10S that were stained intensively by mFas-Fc were isolated by repetitive fluorescence-activated cell sorter sorting. A cell-surface protein of about 40 kD was specifically precipitated by mFas-Fc from the lysates of these sublines. This protein was homogeneously purified by sequential affinity chromatographies using mFas-Fc and concanavalin A beads. The purified protein exhibited cytotoxic activity against cells expressing Fas but not to the cells which do not express Fas. These results indicated that the 40-kD membrane glycoprotein expressed on PC60-d10S cells is the Fas-ligand that induces the apoptotic signal by binding to Fas.