The effect of H. pylori lipopolysaccharide on the synthesis and secretion of sulfated mucus glycoprotein in gastric mucosa was investigated. The lipopolysaccharide, while showing no discernible effect on the apomucin synthesis, exerted a profound inhibitory effect on the process of mucus glycoprotein glycosylation and sulfation, and evoked a rapid (within 15 min) inhibition (65%) in both mucin glycosylation and sulfation at its optimal concentration of 100 micrograms/ml. The data on mucin secretory responses indicated that the added lipopolysaccharide caused a 57% stimulation in sulfated mucin secretion within 15 min followed thereafter by inhibition, which reached a maximum of 32% by 45 min. The high molecular weight mucin form predominated in the initial secretion, while prolonged exposure to the lipopolysaccharide caused a significant increase in the low molecular weight mucin form. The results suggest that H. pylori lipopolysaccharide exerts detrimental effect on mucus glycoprotein sulfation and assembly.