Interactions of proline-rich proteins (PRPs) with flavan-3-ols was studied using poly(L-proline) as a model protein by means of isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC). Several parameters were varied: (i) the galloylation and B-ring trihydroxylation of the flavan-3-ols (catechin, epicatechin, epicatechin gallate, and epigallocatechin gallate) and (ii) the degree of polymerization (monomers were compared to a mixture of oligomers with average degree of polymerization of 3.85). Large differences were observed between the flavan-3-ol monomers: no enthalpy change was measured when catechin and epicatechin were titrated by poly(L-proline), whereas thermodynamic parameters were determined in the case of galloylated monomers and mixture of oligomers. Stoichiometry ranged from 1 oligomer bound for each 12 proline units to 1 galloylated monomer for each 8 or 10 proline units. Association constants were in the range of 10(4)-10(5) M(-1), indicating a relatively high affinity of galloylated flavanols toward poly(L-proline), and the coexistence of both enthalpy- and entropy-driven phenomena was suggested. Finally, the binding of grape seed tannins to proteins was shown to be a cooperative process.