We are investigating the transport and turnover of the multispanning membrane protein Ste6. The Ste6 protein is a member of the ABC-transporter family and is required for the secretion of the yeast mating pheromone a-factor. In contrast to the prevailing view that Ste6 is a plasma membrane protein, we found that Ste6 is mainly associated with internal membranes and not with the cell surface. Fractionation and immunofluorescence data are compatible with a Golgi localization of Ste6. Despite its mostly intracellular localization, the Ste6 protein is in contact with the cell surface, as demonstrated by the finding that Ste6 accumulates in the plasma membrane in endocytosis mutants. The Ste6 protein which accumulates in the plasma membrane in endocytosis mutants is ubiquitinated. Ste6 is thus the second protein in yeast besides MAT alpha 2 for which ubiquitination has been demonstrated. Ste6 is a very unstable protein (half-life 13 min) which is stabilized approximately 3-fold in a ubc4 ubc5 mutant, implicating the ubiquitin system in the degradation of Ste6. The strongest stabilizing effect on Ste6 is, however, observed in the vacuolar pep4 mutant (half-life > 2 h), suggesting that most of Ste6 is degraded in the vacuole. Secretory functions are required for efficient degradation of Ste6, indicating that Ste6 enters the secretory pathway and is transported to the vacuole by vesicular carriers.