Rapid kinetics of glucose-6-phosphate (G6P) uptake and hydrolysis as well as of orthophosphate uptake were investigated in microsomes prepared from normal and glycogen storage disease type 1a (GSD 1a) human livers using a fast sampling, rapid filtration apparatus and were compared to those of rat liver microsomes. As shown before with rat microsomes, the production of [U-14C]glucose from 0.2 mmol/L [U-14C]G6P by untreated normal human microsomes was characterized by a burst in activity during the first seconds of incubation, followed by a slower linear rate. The initial velocity of the burst was equal to the rate of glucose production in detergent-treated microsomes. In untreated and detergent-treated GSD 1a microsomes, no glucose-6-phosphatase activity was observed. When untreated normal human or rat microsomes were incubated in the presence of 0.2 mmol/L [U-14C]G6P, an accumulation of [U-14C]glucose was observed, whereas no radioactive compound (G6P and/or glucose) was taken up by GSD 1a microsomes. Orthophosphate uptake was, however, detectable in both GSD 1a and normal untreated vesicles. These results do not support a rate-limiting transport of G6P in untreated normal human microsomes and further show that in this case of GSD 1a, no distinct G6P transport activity is present.