8-Anilino-1-naphthalenesulfonic acid (ANS) is a popular fluorescence probe, broadly used for the analysis of proteins, but the nature of its interaction with proteins and the high increase in the fluorescence intensity that takes place upon such process are still unclear. In the last few years, isothermal titration calorimetry has been used to characterize the nature of the interaction of this dye with proteins. The analysis of the binding isotherms of these studies has not considered the dimerization equilibrium of ANS, which is pH dependent, and it can result in serious errors in the data analysis. In the present work we have developed a suitable data analysis by which this process is taken into account. To study the binding of the dye to proteins at different pH values, we have used the Abl-SH3 domain. Our results suggest that at pH 3 and 5, where the dimerization of the ANS is important, electrostatic interactions are significant for the binding of ANS to the Abl-SH3 domain. However, at pH 7, ANS behaves mostly as monomer and the interaction with the protein is mainly hydrophobic. The pH dependent behavior of the ANS binding to proteins can be explained in terms of ionization states of both, the protein and the ANS. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.