The axonal surface glycoprotein axonin-1, which occurs both as a glycosyl-phosphatidylinositol-anchored membrane-bound form and a secreted form, promotes neurite outgrowth and is thought to be involved in axon-guidance mechanisms in the developing nervous system. Recently, we have demonstrated that the neurite-outgrowth-promoting activity of axonin-1, presented as a substratum for cultured neurons, is mediated by a heterophilic interaction with the axonal glycoprotein neuronglia cell-adhesion molecule (Ng-CAM). Here we present evidence for homophilic (like-like) binding among axonin-1 molecules. Axonin-1 was heterologously expressed in myeloma cells. Clonal cell lines, with exposed membrane-bound axonin-1 at their surface, formed large multicellular aggregates. Incubations of transfected and parental myeloma cells, under a series of different conditions, revealed homophilic axonin-1/axonin-1 interactions across the intermembrane space as the molecular mechanism promoting stable cell-cell contacts. Using structural and functional characterisation, recombinant axonin-1 was very similar to native axonin-1, suggesting that homophilic axonin-1 interactions are also established in neurons. The capability of axonin-1 to interact with both Ng-CAM and other axonin-1 molecules might contribute to the formation of macromolecular networks at contact sites of growth cones and axons, comprising molecules of both membranes, and thus represent a mechanism for regulating neurite outgrowth and pathfinding.