Glycoprotein IIb-IIIa is the most prominent Arg-Gly-Asp (RGD)-binding adhesion receptor on platelets. By affinity chromatography on an immobilized RGD peptide, we have investigated the possible existence of other platelet-associated adhesion receptors that bind RGD peptides. When an octyl glucoside extract of surface-radioiodinated platelets was applied to an affinity matrix of KYGRGDS-coupled Sepharose 4B, a 160-kDa-labeled protein (P160) and GPIIb-IIIa bound and were specifically eluted by soluble GRGDSP peptide, but not by the variant GRGESP peptide. Furthermore, a dodecapeptide corresponding to fibrinogen gamma 400-411 eluted only GPIIb-IIIa but not P160 from the RGD affinity matrix. Characterization of P160 by two-dimensional sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and by the O'Farrell gel electrophoresis system indicated that P160 is a component of platelet GPIc. GoH3, a monoclonal antibody recognizing the alpha subunit of the very late antigen-6, failed to immunoprecipitate P160 from the RGD eluate, indicating that it did not contain the very late antigen-6 alpha subunit. In immunoblots, P160 reacted specifically with a polyclonal anti-peptide antibody recognizing the alpha subunit of the vitronectin receptor (VnR), but not with the monoclonal anti-GPIIb antibody PMI-1, suggesting that P160 is the alpha subunit of platelet VnR. This possibility was further substantiated by the complete identity between the determined amino-terminal sequence of P160 and the known sequence of the VnR alpha subunit. Moreover, direct association of P160 with a beta subunit having an apparent molecular weight similar to that of GPIIIa was demonstrated by immunoprecipitation with LM609, an anti-VnR complex monoclonal antibody. These results indicate that the VnR complex is present on platelets and may play a functional role in platelet adhesive reactions.