Due to the great length of apolipoprotein (apo) B-100, the localization of lipid-associating domains in this protein has been difficult. To address this question, we developed a computer program called Locate that searches amino acid sequences to identify potential amphipathic alpha-helixes and beta-strands by using sets of rules for helix and strand termination. A series of model chimeric protein test datasets were created by tandem linking of amino acid sequences of multiple proteins containing four different secondary structural motifs: motif A (exchangeable plasma apolipoproteins); motif G (globular alpha-helical proteins); motif C (coiled-coil alpha-helical proteins); and motif B (beta pleated-sheet proteins). These four test datasets, as well as randomly scrambled sequences of each dataset, were analyzed by Locate using increasingly stringent parameters. Using intermediately stringent parameters under which significant numbers of amphipathic helixes were found only in the unscrambled motif A, two dense clusters of putative lipid-associating amphipathic helixes were located precisely in the middle and at the C-terminal end of apoB-100 (a sparse cluster of class G* helixes is located at the N-terminus). The dense clusters are located between residues 2103 through 2560 and 4061 through 4338 and have densities of 2.4 and 2.2 amphipathic helixes per 100 residues, respectively; under these conditions, motif A has a density of 1.4 amphipathic helixes per 100 residues. These two domains correspond closely to the two major apoB-100 lipid-associated domains at residues 2100 through 2700 and 4100 through 4500 using the principle of releasability of tryptic peptides from trypsin-treated intact low-density lipoprotein. The classes of amphipathic helixes identified within these two putative lipid-associating domains are considerably more diverse than those found in the exchangeable plasma apolipoproteins. Interestingly, apoB-48 terminates at the N-terminal edge of the middle cluster. By using a similar strategy for analysis of amphipathic beta-strands, we discovered that the two gap regions between the three amphipathic helix clusters are highly enriched in putative amphipathic beta-strands, while the three amphipathic helical domains are essentially devoid of this putative lipid-associating motif. We propose, therefore, that apoB-100 has a pentapartite structure, NH2-alpha 1-beta 1-alpha 2-beta 2-alpha 3-COOH, with alpha 1 representing a globular domain.