Abstract Examination of exhaustively delipidated Tetrahymena mimbres cells by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis revealed the presence of several protein bands containing covalently linked fatty acids. Palmitic (16:0) and stearic (18:0) acids together accounted for approximately 90% of the protein-linked acyl chains, with myristic acid (14:0) comprising most of the remainder. Each of these three fatty acids was present mainly in alkali-stable linkage, indicating that unlike most other systems examined, fatty acids are attached to proteins of Tetrahymena principally by amide bonds. Smaller proportions of the acyl chains were susceptible to release by hydroxylaminolysis or by alkaline hydrolysis as would be expected from an ester linkage. The protein-bound acyl chains accounted for 0.3% of the cells' total fatty acids. They closely resembled in composition the highly saturated free fatty acid pool but not the vast pool of glycerolipid-associated fatty acids, which were mainly unsaturated. Cells subjected to thermal stress by rapid chilling from 39 to 15 °C responded by sharply increasing the ratio of palmitate to stearate in covalent association with proteins.