The binding characteristics of reduced hepatic membrane proteins for acetylated low-density lipoprotein (acetyl-LDL) and maleylated bovine serum albumin (Mal-BSA) have been examined. Two receptor activities were extracted from hepatic membranes in the presence of octyl beta-D-glucoside and beta-mercaptoethanol, and were separated by chromatography on Mal-BSA-Sepharose 4B. The receptors were revealed by ligand blotting. The active binding proteins had apparent molecular masses of 35 and 15 kDa in SDS/polyacrylamide gels. Equilibrium studies with protein-phosphatidylcholine complexes indicated that the reduced 35 kDa protein expresses two binding sites for Mal-BSA and one for acetyl-LDL, whereas the 15 kDa protein-phosphatidylcholine complex binds 131I-Mal-BSA and 131I-acetyl-LDL with a 4:1 stoichiometry. 131I-Mal-BSA binding was linear with both proteins, with a Kd of 4.8 nM at the 35 kDa protein and a Kd of 5.6 nM at the 15 kDa protein. The 35 kDa protein displayed saturable binding of 131I-acetyl-LDL with a Kd of 5 nM; the 15 kDa binding protein bound 131I-acetyl-LDL with a Kd of 2.3 nM. A 85 kDa protein was obtained by Mal-BSA-Sepharose chromatography when the hepatic membranes had been solubilized with Triton X-100 in presence of GSH/GSSG. This protein displayed saturable 131I-Mal-BSA binding with a Kd of 30 nM and 131I-acetyl-LDL binding with a Kd of 6.5 nM. The 131I-Mal-BSA binding capacity was four times higher than that of 131I-acetyl-LDL. Competition studies with the 35 kDa, 15 kDa and 85 kDa proteins binding Mal-BSA, acetyl-LDL, formylated albumin and polyanionic competitors provide evidence for the existence of more than one class of binding sites at the reduced binding proteins.

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