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A new spin-labeled maleimide derivative of the anion exchange inhibitor 4-4'-diaminodihydrostilbene-2,2'-disulfonate (H2DADS) has been synthesized as a site-specific molecular probe of the stilbenedisulfonate binding site of the anion exchange protein 1 (AE-1; band 3) in human erythrocytes. This probe, SL-H2DADS-maleimide, specifically and covalently labels the Mr 17 kDa integral membrane segment of band 3 with a 1:1 stoichiometry and inhibits essentially 100% of the band 3-mediated anion exchange. The linear V1 EPR spectrum of spin-labeled intact erythrocytes is indicative of a spatially isolated probe which is effectively immobilized on the submicrosecond time scale. Several independent lines of experimental evidence have shown that the nitroxide moiety of SL-H2DADS-maleimide-labeled band 3 is sequestered in a highly protected protein environment. These results are consistent with the observation that the spin-label is rigidly linked to band 3 in a fixed orientation with respect to the membrane normal axis [Hustedt, E. J., & Beth, A. H., (1996) Biochemistry 35, 6944-6954]. The nitroxide moieties of the SL-H2DADS-maleimide-labeled band 3 dimer are greater than 20 A from each other and are also more than 20 A from a monomer-monomer contact surface defined by cross-linking with the spin-labeled reagent BSSDA [bis(sulfo-N-succinimidyl)doxyl-2-spiro-5'-azelate]. These properties make SL-H2DADS-maleimide an extremely useful molecular probe for characterization of the physical properties of the band 3 stilbenedisulfonate binding site, determination of distances between the stilbenedisulfonate site and other segments of band 3, and investigation of the global rotational dynamics of human erythrocyte band 3.