The interactions of lipid A and lipopolysaccharide (LPS) with human serum albumin (HSA) were examined using fluorescence methods. Lipid A binds HSA with a stoichiometry of 2:1 with dissociation constants of 1.0 μM and 6.0 μM for the high- and low-affinity interactions, respectively. Lipid A displaces HSA-bound dansylsarcosine competitively, but not HSA-bound warfarin, suggesting that domain III-A, and not domain 11-A, is a lipid A binding site. Domain I does not contribute a site for lipid A. Based on these data, and the structural similarity between subdomains III-A and III-B, it is proposed that these two regions of HSA represent the high- and low-affinity sites of interaction of lipid A. Whole LPS also binds HSA, displacing dansylsarcosine, and its lipid A moiety appears to be the interaction site. However, there are differences between LPS and free lipid A. Polymyxin B forms ternary complexes with LPS bound to HSA, suggesting that the regions on LPS recognized by HSA and polymyxin B are different. The observed affinity of lipid A for HSA and mass action effects due to its abundance in the circulation would imply a major LPS carrier function for HSA.