A histidine residue (His394) that is likely to be located in the ligand-binding region of the D2 dopamine receptor has been mutated to a leucine (Leu394), and the properties of the mutant receptor have been determined. For a range of antagonists the mutation has only a minor effect on the affinity of the receptor for the antagonist. The mutation does, however, elicit a structurally specific effect on the affinity with which certain members of the substituted benzamide class of antagonist bind to the receptor. Some of these drugs, e.g., sulpiride, sultopride, and tiapride, bind with reduced affinity to the mutated receptor, whereas others, e.g., clebopride and metoclopramide, bind with increased affinity. However, the Na+/H+ sensitivity of the binding of sulpiride to the receptor is not reduced by the mutation. These findings have been interpreted in terms of the productive or unfavourable interaction of the His394 residue with these compounds.