We have analysed the role of N-linked glycosylation in regulating human proteinase-activated receptor-2 (hPAR(2)) expression and function. Epitope-tagged wild-type hPAR(2) (wt-hPAR(2)) or hPAR(2) that lacked glycosylation sequons (following site-directed mutagenesis) in either the N-terminus [hPAR(2)N30A (Asn(30)-->Ala)], extracellular loop 2 [ECL2; hPAR(2)N222Q (Asn(222)-->Gln) or hPAR(2)N222A (Asn(222)-->Ala)] or both (hPAR(2)N30A,N222A or hPAR(2)N30A,N222Q) were expressed in the Chinese-hamster ovary (CHO) fibroblast cell line, Pro5. Western blot analysis of wt-hPAR(2) showed mature wt-hPAR(2) to have a molecular mass of 55-100 kDa, and 33-48 kDa following N -glycosidase F deglycosylation. FACS analysis and immunocytochemistry of the wt-hPAR(2) and PAR(2) mutant cell lines revealed that removal of both glycosylation sequons decreases (50% of wt-hPAR(2)) cell surface expression. Western blot analysis indicated that both N-linked sites are glycosylated. In functional studies, hPAR(2)N30A displayed a selective and significant increase in sensitivity towards tryptase. Interestingly, hPAR(2)N222A displayed a loss in sensitivity towards all PAR(2) agonists tested. However, further analysis revealed receptor sensitivity to alanine mutations in this domain, as the more conservative substitution hPAR(2)N222Q displayed no change in response to PAR(2) agonists. hPAR(2)N30A,N222Q displayed increased sensitivity towards tryptase, but a loss in sensitivity towards trypsin and the synthetic peptide SLIGRL-NH(2), although this loss in sensitivity towards trypsin and SLIGRL-NH(2) was secondary to changes in cell-surface expression. Finally, expression of sialic-acid-deficient wt-hPAR(2) in the CHO Lec2 glycosylation-deficient mutant cell line, showed a 40 kDa loss in molecular mass, in addition to a marked and selective increase in sensitivity towards tryptase. We conclude that hPAR(2) N-linked glycosylation and sialylation regulates receptor expression and/or signalling.