ARF-like proteins (ARLs) comprise a functionally distinct group of incompletely characterized members in the ARF family of RAS-related GTPases. We took advantage of the GTP binding characteristics of human ARL2 to develop a specific, high affinity binding assay that allowed the purification of a novel ARL2-binding protein. A 19-kDa protein (BART, Binder of Arl Two) was identified and purified from bovine brain homogenate. BART binding is specific to ARL2·GTP with high affinity but does not interact with ARL2·GDP or activated ARF or RHO proteins. Based on peptide sequences of purified bovine BART, the human cDNA sequence was determined. The 489-base pair BART open reading frame encodes a novel 163-amino acid protein with a predicted molecular mass of 18,822 Da. Recombinant BART was found to bind ARL2·GTP in a manner indistinguishable from native BART. Northern and Western analyses indicated BART is expressed in all tissues sampled. The lack of detectable membrane association of ARL2 or BART upon activation of ARL2 is suggestive of actions quite distinct from those of the ARFs. The lack of ARL2 GTPase- activating protein activity in BART led us to conclude that the specific interaction with ARL2-GTP is most consistent with BART being the first identified ARL2-specific effector.