Alteration of glycoprotein glycans often changes various properties of the glycoprotein. To understand the significance of N-glycosylation in the pathogenesis of early-onset familial Alzheimer's disease (AD) and in beta-amyloid (Abeta) production, we examined whether the mutations in the amyloid precursor protein (APP) gene found in familial AD affect the N-glycans on APP. We purified the secreted forms of wild-type and mutant human APPs (both the Swedish type and the London type) produced by transfected C17 cells and determined the N-glycan structures of these three recombinant APPs. Although the major N-glycan species of the three APPs were similar, both mutant APPs contained higher contents of bisecting N-acetylglucosamine and core-fucose residues as compared to wild-type APP. These results demonstrate that familial AD mutations in the polypeptide backbone of APP can affect processing of the attached N-glycans; however, whether these changes in N-glycosylation affect Abeta production remains to be established.