The protease-activated thrombin receptor-1 (PAR-1) can be activated by both the tethered ligand exposed by thrombin cleavage and a synthetic peptide having the tethered ligand sequence (thrombin receptor agonist peptide or TRAP). We conducted a mutational analysis of extracellular residues of the receptor potentially involved in interaction with both the tethered ligand and the soluble peptide agonist. Agonist-stimulated calcium efflux in X. laevis oocytes or inositol phosphate accumulation in COS-7 cells was used to assess receptor activation. We have also examined the binding of a radiolabeled TRAP for the wild-type and mutant PAR-1 receptors. Our results indicated that most of the mutations strongly affected TRAP-induced responses without significantly altering thrombin-induced responses or TRAP binding. Several point mutations and deletion of extracellular domains (DeltaEC3, DeltaNH3) drastically altered the ability of mutant receptors to respond to TRAP, but not to thrombin, and did not affect the affinity for the radiolabeled TRAP by these mutant receptors. Only mutations that disrupted the putative disulfide bond or substitution of multiple acidic residues in the second extracellular loop by alanine had a significant effect on both ligand binding and thrombin activation. These results suggest that although both agonists can activate PAR-1, there are profound differences in the ability of thrombin and TRAP to activate PAR-1. In addition, we have found PAR-1 mutants with the ability to dissociate receptor-specific binding from functional activity.