The novel intracellular carbohydrate O-linked N-acetylglucosamine (O-GlcNAc) is present on proteins ranging from those of viruses to those of humans and include cytosolic, nuclear and plasma-membrane proteins. In this report we have examined the effect of manipulation of phosphorylation on the levels of O-GlcNAc in cerebellar neurons from early postnatal mice. Our results indicate a reciprocal response of O-GlcNAc levels to phosphorylation. Activation of protein kinase A or C, for example, results in reduced levels of O-GlcNAc specifically in the fraction of cytoskeletal and cytoskeleton-associated proteins, while inhibition of the same kinases results in increased levels of O-GlcNAc. These data are in keeping with a reciprocal action of O-GlcNAc with respect to phosphorylation and suggest that this modification may have a role in signal transduction.