P1,P4-Diadenosine 5'-tetraphosphate (Ap4A) acts as an extracellular modulator through its interaction with purinoceptors. Our laboratory has demonstrated the presence of an Ap4A receptor in cardiac tissue [1,2]. Due to the rapid hydrolysis of ATP by cardiac membranes the relationship of ATP and Ap4A binding to purinoceptors on cardiac membranes has not been characterized. In this communication we used two approaches to determine the relationship of ATP to the Ap4A receptor. Radioligand binding carried out with [alpha-32P]Ap4A and adenosine 5'-O-¿3-thiotriphosphate¿ ([gamma-35S]ATPgammaS) demonstrates the presence of a single high affinity binding site for Ap4A and the presence of two binding sites for ATPgammaS. The second approach utilized immunoaffinity purified Ap4A receptor that was shown to be free of ATPase and Ap4Aase activities. Non-radiolabeled Ap4A and ATPgammaS effectively inhibited photocrosslinking of [alpha-32P]8-N3Ap4A to the receptor polypeptide while ATP was a much less effective inhibitor. Furthermore, on plasma membranes [alpha-32P]8-N3Ap4A photocrosslinked to only a 50 kDa polypeptide. These data are consistent with Ap4A interacting with a homogeneous population of receptors on cardiac plasma membranes but with ATP having a low affinity for the receptor.