1. Measurements have been made of the interaction of cytochrome c, bovine serum albumin and synthetic oxytocin with low-pressure (2dyn/cm) monolayers of stearic acid, phosphatidylcholine and phosphatidylethanolamine. 2. [14C]Carboxymethylation of the cytochrome c and albumin followed by surface-radioactivity determinations have shown that only a proportion of the protein added to the subphase is bound to the monolayers and that initially the degree of binding is dependent on the protein concentration. The binding is irreversible in the sense that the adsorbed protein cannot be removed by transferring the film containing the interacted protein to a fresh subphase containing no protein. 3. Three successive types of interaction can usually be recognized. (a) Initially, whole molecules of protein penetrate the lipid film and occupy the same area as those of the protein spread at the air/water interface. (b) Above certain film pressures a part of each protein molecule, probably hydrophobic side chains, penetrates the film. The change in surface pressure per unit of bound protein is much smaller than in (a). (c) At higher film pressures, adsorption without penetration occurs. With cytochrome c this is initially dependent on a favourable electrostatic interaction.

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