Site-directed mutagenesis of the human 5-HT1B receptor was performed to investigate the role of the amino acid residues cysteine 326 and tryptophan 327 in transmembrane region VI and aspartic acid 352 in transmembrane region VII in ligand binding. Binding studies were performed with the antagonist radioligand [3H]GR125743 on mutant and wild-type receptors stably expressed in Chinese hamster ovary cells (CHO)-K1 cells. Substitution of tryptophan 327 by alanine resulted in decreased affinities of all ligands tested. The most prominent changes in affinity were observed for the antagonist methiothepin and the antimigraine drug sumatriptan, which were reduced approximately 300- and 60-fold, respectively. Nevertheless, the affinity of 5-HT remained the same. Replacement of the aspartic acid 352 by alanine reduced high-affinity binding of 5-HT. Substitution of cysteine 326 by alanine had minor effects on ligand binding. Some of these results agree with the results from mutagenesis studies of the corresponding amino acids in other receptors. However, some notable differences also emerge showing that functional roles of individual amino acid residues must be tested experimentally in each receptor subtype.