Acyl-CoA-binding protein (ACBP) was purified from rat liver. The M(r) was determined as 9932 ± 10 by mass spectrometry and calculated as 9937.8 from the sequence. The protein binds acyl-CoA esters (C8-C16) with high affinity, but was unable to bind fatty acids. ACBP was found mainly (86%) in the soluble fraction, and the concentration was highest in liver, 5-6 μg/mg of soluble protein. The complete primary structure was determined by a combination of gas-phase Edman degradations and mass spectrometry. Extensive use of 252Cf plasma-desorption mass spectrometry facilitated the identification and verification of peptides. Comparison with the previously determined sequence of bovine acyl-CoA-binding protein revealed a very strong sequence similarity (83%), and all of the differences could be accounted for by single base changes.