The nucleotide sequence and the amino acid sequence for rat substance K receptor were deduced by molecular cloning and sequence analysis of its cDNAs. The rat substance K receptor consists of 390 amino acid residues and belongs to the family of G protein-coupled receptors. The comparison of the amino acid sequences of the rat and bovine substance K receptors indicated that they are highly homologous in the regions covering seven putative transmembrane domains, and this similarity is particularly remarkable in the transmembrane segments III and VII and their surrounding regions. RNA blot hybridization analysis showed that the rat substance K receptor is encoded by two species of mRNAs which differ in the lengths of the extreme 5' sequence of the 5'-untranslated regions. This analysis also indicated that the substance K receptor mRNAs are expressed in the gastrointestinal tract. Interestingly, no appreciable substance K receptor mRNAs were detected in poly(A)+ RNAs isolated from the brain and spinal cord, even though these tissues are known to not only contain substance K but also express the mRNA encoding the substance K precursor.