The structural features of the first extracellular loop (ECL1) of the parathyroid hormone receptor (PTH1R) in the presence of dodecylphosphocholine micelles have been determined using high-resolution NMR techniques. The structure of the receptor fragment, PTH1R(241-285), includes three alpha-helices for residues 241-244, 256-264, and 275-284. The first and third correspond to the end and the beginning of transmembrane helices 2 and 3, respectively. Centrally located in the second helix is L(261), found to cross-link to Lys(27) of parathyroid hormone, PTH(1-34) [Greenberg, Z., Bisello, A., Mierke, D. F., Rosenblatt, M., and Chorev, M. (2000) Biochemistry 39, 8142-8152]. On the basis of nitroxide radical-induced relaxation studies, the central helix is found to associate with the surface of the membrane mimetic. These data, in conjunction with previous results indicating a preference of PTH for the lipid surface, suggest a membrane-associated pathway for the initial recognition and binding of PTH to its G-protein-coupled receptor. Using the structural features of ECL1 as determined here, along with the structure of the PTH(1-34), the intermolecular interactions consistent with the contact point between L(261)(receptor)-Lys(27)(ligand) are identified.