A photoreactive quinolinemethanol analog, N-[4-[1-hydroxy-2-(dibutylamino)ethyl]quinolin-8yl]-4- azido-2-salicylamide (ASA-MQ) has been synthesized which closely mimics the action of mefloquine. ASA-MQ possesses potent antimalarial activity against a mefloquine-sensitive strain of Plasmodium falciparum and shows decreased activity against a mefloquine-resistant parasite strain. Radioiodinated ASA-MQ has been used in photoaffinity labeling studies to identify mefloquine-interacting proteins in serum, uninfected erythrocytes and Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes. We have shown that mefloquine interacts specifically with apo-A1, the major protein of serum high density lipoproteins. In addition, mefloquine was shown to interact specifically with the erythrocyte membrane protein, band 7.2b (stomatin). A further two high affinity mefloquine-binding proteins with apparent molecular masses of 22 and 36 kDa were identified in three different strains of Plasmodium falciparum. We suggest that these two mefloquine-binding parasite proteins may be involved in the uptake of mefloquine or may represent macromolecular targets of mefloquine action in malaria parasites.