The neural cell adhesion molecule axonin-1/TAG-1 mediates cell-cell interactions via homophilic and heterophilic contacts. It consists of six Ig and four fibronectin type III domains anchored to the membrane by glycosylphosphatidylinositol. The recently solved crystal structure indicates a module composed of the four N-terminal Ig domains as the contact site between trans-interacting axonin-1 molecules from apposed membranes. Here, we have tested domain-specific monoclonal antibodies for their capacity to interfere with homophilic binding in a cell aggregation assay. The results confirmed the existence of a binding region within the N-terminal Ig domains and identified a second region contributing to homophilic binding on the third and fourth fibronectin domains near the C terminus. The perturbation of each region alone resulted in a complete loss of cell aggregation, suggesting that axonin-1-mediated cell-cell contact results from a cooperative action of two homophilic binding regions. The data support that axonin-1-mediated cell-cell contact is formed by cis-assisted trans-binding. The N-terminal binding regions of axonin-1 establish a linear zipper-like string of trans-interacting axonin-1 molecules alternately provided by the two apposed membranes. The C-terminal binding regions strengthen the cell-cell contact by enhancing the expansion of the linear string into a two-dimensional array via cis-interactions. Cis-assisted trans-binding may be a basic binding mechanism common to many cell adhesion molecules.