Glucagon-like peptide-1 stimulates glucose-induced insulin secretion by binding to a specific G protein-coupled receptor that activates the adenylyl cyclase pathway. We previously demonstrated that heterologous desensitization of the receptor by protein kinase C correlated with phosphorylation in a 33-amino acid-long segment of the receptor carboxyl-terminal cytoplasmic tail. Here, we determined that the in vivo sites of phosphorylation are four serine doublets present at positions 431/432, 441/442, 444/445, and 451/452. In vitro phosphorylation of fusion proteins containing mutant receptor C-tails, however, indicated that whereas serines at position 431/432 were good substrates for protein kinase C (PKC), serines 444/445 and 451/452 were poor substrates, and serines 441/442 were not substrates. In addition, serine 416 was phosphorylated on fusion protein but not in intact cells. This indicated that in vivo a different PKC isoform or a PKC-activated kinase may phosphorylate the receptor. The role of phosphorylation on receptor desensitization was assessed using receptor mutants expressed in COS cells or Chinese hamster lung fibroblasts. Mutation of any single serine doublet to alanines reduced the extent of phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate-induced desensitization, whereas substitution of any combination of two serine doublets suppressed it. Our data thus show that the glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor can be phosphorylated in response to phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate on four different sites within the cytoplasmic tail. Furthermore, phosphorylation of at least three sites was required for desensitization, although maximal desensitization was only achieved when all four sites were phosphorylated.