P-glycoprotein is an ATP-dependent drug-efflux pump which can transport a diverse range of structurally and functionally unrelated substrates across the plasma membrane. Overexpression of this protein may result in multidrug resistance and is a major cause of the failure of cancer chemotherapy. The most commonly used photoreactive substrate is iodoarylazidoprazosin. Its binding domains within the P-glycoprotein have so far been inferred from indirect methods such as epitope mapping. In this study, the binding sites were refined and relocalized by direct analysis of photolabeled peptides. P-glycoprotein-containing plasma membrane vesicles of Chinese hamster ovary B30 cells were photoaffinity-labeled with iodoarylazidoprazosin. After chemical cleavage behind tryptophan residues or enzymatic cleavage behind lysine residues, the resulting 125I-labeled peptides were separated by tricine/PAGE and HPLC and subjected to Edman sequencing. The major photoaffinity binding sites of iodoarylazidoprazosin were localized in the amino-acid regions 248-312 [transmembrane segment (TM)4 to TM5], 758-800 (beyond TM7 to beyond TM8) and 1160-1218 (after the Walker A motif of the second nucleotide-binding domain). Therefore the binding pocket of iodoarylazidoprazosin is made up of at least three binding epitopes.