Messenger (m)RNA sequences complementary to the mRNA sequences for the receptors to epidermal growth factor (EGF), interleukin-2 (IL-2) and transferrin (TF) were written out and compared for homologies with their ligands (EGF, IL-2 and TF, respectively). Highly significant amino acid and nucleotide homologies between the ligands and their appropriate receptor complements were detected in each case. For example, EGF and its receptor complement contained two homologous segments, each being six amino acids in length. When these segments were secreened for matches against a protein sequence bank (3060 proteins and 616,748 test segments), only EGF contained either sequence. Similar results were obtained with IL-2 and TF. In each case, the homologous segments corresponded to complementary regions in the ligand binding portion of the receptor. © 1985.