The 39-kDa receptor-associated protein (RAP) binds to the alpha 2-macroglobulin receptor/low density lipoprotein receptor-related protein (alpha 2MR/LRP) and inhibits binding of ligands to this receptor. The in vivo function of RAP may be to regulate ligand binding and/or assist in the correct biosynthetic processing or trafficking of the alpha 2MR/LRP. Here we show that RAP binds another putative receptor, the kidney glycoprotein 330 (gp330). Gp330 is a high molecular weight glycoprotein that is structurally similar to both the alpha 2MR/LRP and low density lipoprotein receptor. The ability of RAP to bind to gp330 was demonstrated by ligand blotting and solid phase binding assays, which showed that RAP binds to gp330 with high affinity (Kd = 8 nM). Exploiting the interaction of gp330 and RAP, we purified gp330 by affinity chromatography with a column of RAP coupled to Sepharose. Gp330 preparations obtained by this procedure were notably more homogeneous than those obtained by conventional methods. Immunocytochemical staining of human kidney sections localized RAP to the brush-border epithelium of proximal tubules. The fact that gp330 is also primarily expressed by proximal tubule epithelial cells strengthens the likelihood that the interaction between gp330 and RAP occurs in vivo. The functional significance of RAP binding to gp330 may be to antagonize ligand binding as has been demonstrated for the alpha 2MR/LRP or to assist in the biosynthetic processing and/or trafficking of this receptor.