A protein of S20,W 1.6S and mol.wt. 14000, which binds covalently a metabolite of the aminoazodye carcinogen NN-dimethyl-4-amino-3′-methylazobenzene, was isolated from rat liver cytosol from both carcinogen-treated and normal rats. The protein binds non-covalently palmitoyl-CoA, fatty acids, bilirubin, sex steroids and their sulphates, bile acids and salts, bromosulphophthalein, diethylstilboestrol and 20-methylcholanthrene with a wide range of affinities. The protein is isolated as three components with isoelectric points of 5.0, 5.9 and 7.6 by a method involving isoelectric focusing. All three components have closely similar amino acid analyses, tryptic-peptide ‘maps’ and u.v. spectra. Each single component redistributes into all three on further electrophoresis. However, the three forms differ in their binding characteristics, the form of pI 7.6 having much the highest affinity for compounds bound non-covalently. The protein was identified immunologically in rat liver, small intestine, adipose tissue, skeletal muscle, myocardium and testis. The protein was compared with other hepatic binding-protein preparations of similar molecular weight.

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