Intracellular events in the synthesis, glycosylation, and transport of the lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) glycoproteins have been examined. We have shown by N-glycanase digestion that LCMV strain Arm-4 bears five oligosaccharides on GP-1 and two on GP-2. By pulse-chase labeling experiments in the presence of drugs which inhibit N-linked oligosaccharide addition and processing we demonstrate that addition of high mannose precursor oligosaccharides is necessary for transport and cleavage of the viral GP-C glycoprotein. Moreover, in the presence of tunicamycin which inhibits en bloc addition of these mannose-rich side chains, virus budding was substantially decreased and infectious virions were reduced by more than 1000-fold in the supernatant medium. Incubation in the presence of castantospermine, which permits addition of oligomannosyl-rich chains but blocks further processing, restored transport and cleavage of GP-C and maturation of virions. Finally, by temperature block experiments we have determined that maturation of GP-C oligosaccharides to an endoglycosidase H resistant form precedes cleavage to GP-1 and GP-2. The latter process is most likely to occur in the Golgi or post-Golgi compartment.