Degenerate primers, corresponding to consensus sequences of third and sixth transmembrane domains of G protein-coupled receptor superfamily, were used for the polymerase chain reaction amplification and consecutive characterization of G protein-coupled receptors present in cultured rabbit aortic smooth muscle cells. One of the isolated resulting fragments was highly homologous to the corresponding region of the bradykinin (BK) B2 receptor cloned in other species. The polymerase chain reaction fragment was used to screen a rabbit genomic library, which allowed the identification of an intronless 1101-nucleotide open reading frame which codes for a 367-amino acid receptor protein. The rabbit B2 receptor sequence is more than 80% identical to the ones determined in three other species and retain putative glycosylation, palmitoylation and phosphorylation sites. In the rabbit genomic sequence, an acceptor splice sequence was found 8 base pairs upstream of the start codon. Northern blot analysis showed a high expression of a major transcript (4.2 kilobases) in the rabbit kidney and duodenum, and a less abundant expression in other tissues. Southern blot experiments suggest that a single copy of this gene exists in the rabbit genome. The cloned rabbit B2 receptor expressed in COS-1 cells binds [3H]BK in a saturable manner (KD 2.1 nM) and this ligand competes with a series of kinin agonists and antagonist with a rank order consistent with the B2 receptor identity. The insurmountable character of the antagonism exerted by Hoe 140 against BK on the rabbit B2 receptor, previously shown in pharmacological experiments, was confirmed in binding experiments with the cloned receptor expressed in a controlled manner. By contrast, Hoe 140 competed with [3H]BK in a surmountable manner for the human B2 receptor expressed in COS-1 cells. The cloning of the rabbit B2 receptor will be useful notably for the study of the structural basis of antagonist binding and for studies on receptor regulation in a relatively large animal.