The p55 tumor necrosis factor (TNF) receptor and Fas/APO1 induce cell death via distinct regions in their intracellular domains. Three cytoplasmic proteins that bind to these receptor regions have been identified recently. One, MORT1 (also called FADD), binds to Fas/APO1 but not to p55-R; another, TRADD, binds to the p55 TNF receptor but not to Fas/APO1; and the third, RIP, binds weakly to both receptors. The regions within these proteins that are involved in binding to the receptors and the receptor regions to which they bind share a common sequence motif, that of the "death domain." This study shows that the death domain motifs in MORT1, TRADD, and RIP bind effectively to each other, a mode of binding that may allow "cross-talk" between the functional expression of the p55 TNF receptor and Fas/APO1.