Two variants of the human N-formylpeptide chemoattractant receptor have been isolated from a CDM8 expression library prepared from mRNA of human myeloid HL-60 cells differentiated to the granulocyte phenotype with Bt2cAMP. Both recombinant receptors, fMLP-R26 and fMLP-R98, are 350 amino acids long (Mr 38,420); they differ from each other by two residue changes at positions 101 and 346 and by significant differences in the 5' and 3' untranslated regions. Both clones were able to transfer to COS-7 cells the capacity to specifically bind a new and highly efficient hydrophilic derivative of N-formyl-Met-Leu-Phe-Lys, referred to as fMLPK-Pep12. Photolabeling experiments revealed that the glycosylated form of the fMLP receptor in COS cells has a molecular weight (Mr 50,000-70,000) similar to that observed for the native receptor in differentiated HL-60 cells. Northern blot analysis revealed a major transcript of 1.6-1.7 kb and two minor hybridization signals of 2.3 and 3.1 kb, suggesting a related family of receptors. The complex hybridization pattern obtained with restricted genomic DNA was consistent with either two genes encoding fMLP receptor isoforms or a single gene with at least one intron in the coding sequence. Sequence comparison established that the fMLP receptor belongs to the G-protein-coupled receptor superfamily. The structural similarities observed with RDC1, a receptor isolated from a dog thyroid cDNA library, which shares weak homologies with other members of the family, suggests that the fMLP receptor is representative of a new subfamily.