Glucagon-like peptide-1(7–36)amide (GLP-1(7–36) amide) and gastric inhibitory polypeptide (GIP), peptides of the glucagon family, stimulate insulin secretion in vitro and in vivo. They possess high N-terminal sequence homology. Binding studies with 125I-labelled GIP and 125I-labelled GLP-1(7– 36)amide were performed in RINm5F insulinoma cells to investigate receptor specificity and to compare both receptors directly. Both binding sites were highly ligand-specific: GIP did not bind to the GLP-1(7–36)amide receptor and vice versa. Both peptides increased intracellular cyclic AMP levels; GLP-1(7– 36)amide was 100-fold more potent in stimulating cyclic AMP production when compared with GIP. At ranges of 1–10 nmol GLP-1(7–36)amide/1 and 0·1–10 GIP/1, corresponding to submaximal binding concentrations, the hormones showed an additive effect on cyclic AMP production. The N-terminal portion of GIP was important for binding, as GIP(1–30) showed almost full binding and biological activity. GIP(17–42) bound in a concentration-dependent manner with approximately 500-fold lower potency than GIP. At concentrations of up to 10 μmol GIP(17–42)/1 no stimulation of cyclic AMP was observed.