Temperature-sensitive secretory mutants (sec) of S. cerevisiae have been used to evaluate the organelles and cellular functions involved in transport of the vacuolar glycoprotein, carboxypeptidase Y (CPY). Others have shown that CPY (61 kd) is synthesized as an inactive proenzyme (69 kd) that is matured by cleavage of an 8 kd amino-terminal propeptide. sec mutants that are blocked in either of two early stages in the secretory process and accumulate endoplasmic reticulum or Golgi bodies also accumulate precursor forms of CPY when cells are incubated at the nonpermissive temperature (37 degrees C). These forms are converted to a proper size when cells are returned to a permissive temperature (25 degrees C). Vacuoles isolated from sec mutant cells do not contain the proCPY produced at 37 degrees C. These results suggest that vacuolar and secretory glycoproteins require the same cellular functions for transport from the endoplasmic reticulum and from the Golgi body. The Golgi body represents a branch point in the pathway: from this organelle, vacuolar proenzymes are transported to the vacuole for proteolytic processing and secretory proteins are packaged into vesicles.