GMP-PNP, a non-hydrolyzable analog of GTP binds tightly to G-protein in the presence of Mg2+, so that the binding is stable even after exhaustive washings. This property was exploited to prepare membrane samples of rat brain where G-protein GTP-binding sites were saturated with GMP-PNP. Experiments carried out with these membranes showed that GTP, GMP-PNP, GDP-S and GMP (1 mM) inhibit the sodium-independent [3H]glutamate binding by 30-40% [F(4,40) = 5.9; p < .001], whereas only GMP-PNP activates adenylate cyclase activity [F(6,42) = 3.56; p < .01]. The inhibition of sodium-independent [3H]glutamate binding occurred in the absence of Mg2+. These findings suggest that guanine nucleotides may inhibit glutamate binding and activate adenylate cyclase through distinct mechanisms by acting on different sites.