Entactin is a sulfated multidomain glycoprotein component of basement membranes. The molecule consists of 1217 amino acids which are organized into two terminal globular domains linked by a rod-like structure largely composed of four EGF- and one thyroglobulin-like cysteine-rich homology repeats. Entactin binds to laminin, collagen IV, fibrinogen, and fibronectin. In the parietal endoderm M1536-B3 cell line, the laminin-entactin complex is formed intracellularly and transported in membrane enclosed vesicles to the extracellular compartment. Transfection of human choriocarcinoma JAR cells, which do not synthesize entactin, with entactin cDNA results in the synthesis and insertion of entactin into the extracellular matrix where it becomes associated with laminin and collagen IV. Indirect immunofluorescent staining also reveals that entactin co-localizes with fibronectin in the extracellular matrix of the embryonal carcinoma-derived 4CQ cell line. These observations suggest that entactin plays an important role in the assembly and properties of diverse extracellular matrices. In addition, entactin binds to immobilized fibrinogen, and more specifically, to the A alpha and B beta chains. The binding of radiolabeled entactin to immobilized fibrinogen is not dependent on metal ions, and is inhibited by antibodies against either fibrinogen or entactin, soluble fibrinogen, and unlabeled entactin. This interaction combined with the chemotactic and phagocytic promoting activities of entactin may be important in hemostasis and would healing.