Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy has been used to monitor lipid-protein interaction and protein secondary structure in native and reconstituted sarcoplasmic reticulum vesicles. Studies of the temperature dependence of the CH₂ symmetric stretching frequency reveal no cooperative phase transitions in purified sarcoplasmic reticulum or in vesicles reconstituted with dioleoylphosphatidylcholine, although a continuous introduction of disorder into the lipid acyl chains is observed as the temperature is raised. In addition, temperature-dependent changes are observed in the Amide I and Amide II vibrations arising from protein peptide bonds. A comparison of lipid order in native sarcoplasmic reticulum and its lipid extract showed that the introduction of protein is accompanied by a slight increase in lipid order. Reconstitution of Ca²⁺-ATPase from sarcoplasmic reticulum with dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine (lipid/protein ratio 30:1), reveals a perturbed lipid melting event broadened and reduced in midpoint temperature from multilamellar lipid vesicles. The onset of melting (27–28°C) correlates well with the onset of ATPase activity and confirms a suggestion (Hesketh, T.R., Smith G.A., Houslay M.D., McGill, K.A., Birdsall, N.J.M., Metcalfe, J.C. and Warren, G.B. (1976) Biochemistry 15, 4145–4151) that a liquid crystalline environment is a requirement for optimal protein function. Finally, Ca²⁺-ATPase has been reconstituted into binary lipid mixtures of DOPC and acyl-chain perdeuterated DPPC. The effect of protein on the structure and melting behavior of each lipid component was monitored. The protein appears to preferentially interact with the DOPC component.