The dopamine D4 receptor is a G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) that belongs to the dopamine D2-like receptor family. Functionally, the D2-like receptors are characterized by their ability to inhibit adenylyl cyclase. The dopamine D4 receptor as well as many other catecholaminergic receptors contain several putative SH3 binding domains. Most of these sites in the D4 receptor are located in a polymorphic repeat sequence and flanking sequences in the third intracellular loop. Here we demonstrate that this region of the D4 receptor can interact with a large variety of SH3 domains of different origin. The strongest interactions were seen with the SH2-SH3 adapter proteins Grb2 and Nck. The repeat sequence itself is not essential in this interaction. The data presented indicate that the different SH3 domains in the adapter proteins interact in a cooperative fashion with two distinct sites immediately upstream and downstream from the repeat sequence. Removal of all the putative SH3 binding domains in the third intracellular loop of the dopamine D4 receptor resulted in a receptor that could still bind spiperone and dopamine. Dopamine could not modulate the coupling of these mutant receptors to adenylyl cyclase and MAPK, although dopamine modulated receptor-G protein interaction appeared normal. The receptor deletion mutants show strong constitutive internalization that may account for the deficiency in functional activation of second messengers. The data indicates that the D4 receptor contains SH3 binding sites and that these sites fall within a region involved in the control of receptor internalization.