The thermotropic behavior of the natural glycosphingolipids galactosylceramide, asialo-Gal beta 1-3GalNAc beta 1-4Gal(3-2 alpha NeuAc)beta 1-4Glc beta 1-Cer (GM1), sulfatide, GM1, NeuAc alpha 2-3Gal beta 1-3GalNAc beta 1-4Gal(3-2 alpha NeuAc)beta 1-4Glc beta 1-1Cer (GD1a), and NeuAc alpha 2-3Gal beta 1-3GalNAc beta 1-4Gal(3-2 alpha NeuAc8-2 alpha NeuAc)beta 1-4Glc beta 1-1 Cer (GT1b), and their mixtures with dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine (DPPC) in the presence of myelin basic protein (MBP) was studied by high sensitivity differential scanning calorimetry. The transition temperature of DPPC, galactosylceramide, and asialo-GM1 is affected little by MBP while their transition enthalpy is decreased in proportion to the amount of protein in the mixture. The thermotropic behavior of anionic glycosphingolipids is considerably perturbed by MBP. The transition temperature of gangliosides increases in the presence of MBP, whereas that of sulfatide decreases. The enthalpy of the transition of anionic glycosphingolipids increases markedly in the presence of MBP. The excess heat capacity function of these systems can be resolved into two independent phase transitions. Phase separation of enriched lipid/protein domains occurs in a magnitude that depends on the amount of MBP; the rest of the lipid phase exhibits some altered thermodynamic properties. In mixtures of glycosphingolipids with DPPC, phase separation is also present but no phase transition with the characteristic of pure DPPC is found. MBP is changing the properties of the lipid mixture as a whole and does not interact exclusively with the glycosphingolipids. The proportion of MBP required to produce the maximal changes is greater the greater the complexity of the glycosphingolipids polar head group. Relatively small variations of the amount of MBP induce large shifts in the proportion of the different phases present.