Thromboxane A2 (TXA2) induces activation of platelets and vascular smooth muscle contraction via cell surface receptors. A platelet type TXA2 receptor from the megakaryocyte-like HEL cell was cloned with a deduced amino acid sequenced identical to that previously reported for the human placental TXA2 receptor. Transient expression of the HEL cell TXA2 receptor cDNA and radioligand binding studies with the agonist 125I-BOP showed a single class of binding sites with an affinity comparable to a low affinity platelet TXA2 receptor. Using a series of 13-azapinane TXA2 analogs, which discriminate between TXA2 receptor subtypes in platelets and vascular smooth muscle, we found that the cloned HEL cell TXA2 receptor is characteristic of a platelet type TXA2 receptor and that its binding characteristics are different from those of vascular smooth muscle cells. The affinity of the HEL cell TXA2 receptor for 125I-BOP was significantly (P < .05) increased upon co-transfection with G alpha 13 alone, or with G alpha q alone and with G alpha 13 and G alpha 12 together (n = 4-6). GTP gamma S significantly (P < .05) decreased the affinity of the receptor for 125I-BOP in COS-7 cell membranes coexpressing HEL-TXR and G alpha 13 to a value comparable to HEL-TXA2 receptor alone. We conclude that 1) the cloned HEL cell TXA2 receptor has pharmacological characteristics of a low affinity platelet type receptor and 2) that the affinity state of this receptor may be influenced by interaction with G alpha 13 and G alpha q.