Acyl-CoA binding proteins (ACBPs) are small (ca. 10 kDa) highly-conserved cytosolic proteins that bind long-chain acyl-CoAs. A novel cDNA encoding ACBP1, a predicted membrane protein of 24.1 kDa with an acyl-CoA binding protein domain at its carboxy terminus, was cloned from Arabidopsis thaliana. At this domain, ACBP1 showed 47% amino acid identity to Brassica ACBP and 35% to 40% amino acid identity to yeast, Drosophila, bovine and human ACBPs. Recombinant (His)6-ACBP1 fusion protein was expressed in Escherichia coli and was shown to bind 14[C]oleoyl-CoA. A hydrophobic domain, absent in the 10 kDa ACBPs, was located at the amino terminus of ACBP1. Using antipeptide polyclonal antibodies in western blot analysis, ACBP1 was shown to be a membrane-associated glycosylated protein with an apparent molecular mass of 33 kDa. The ACBP1 protein was also shown to accumulate predominantly in siliques and was localized to the seed within the silique. These results suggest that the biological role of ACBP1 is related to lipid metabolism in the seed, presumably in which acyl-CoA esters are involved. Northern blot analysis showed that the 1.4 kb ACBP1 mRNA was expressed in silique, root, stem, leaf and flower. Results from Southern blot analysis of genomic DNA suggest the presence of at least two genes encoding ACBPs in Arabidopsis.