We have cloned and sequenced a cDNA (RPR4) encoding a new member of the secretin/calcitonin/parathyroid hormone (PTH) receptor family. RPR4 was identified by PCR of rat pituitary cDNA, and a full-length clone was isolated from a rat olfactory bulb cDNA library. When RPR4 was functionally expressed in COS 7 cells, cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) production was stimulated by vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP), pituitary adenylate cyclase activating peptides (PACAP-38 and PACAP-27) and helodermin, with equal potency. Peptide histidine isoleucine (PHI) and rat growth hormone releasing hormone (rGHRH) also stimulated cAMP production at lower potency. This suggests that RPR4 encodes a novel VIP receptor which we have designated the VIP2 receptor. In situ hybridisation showed that mRNA for this receptor was present mainly in the thalamus, hippocampus and in the suprachiasmatic nucleus.