The cDNAs encoding the GLUT1 glucose transporter protein were altered by site-directed mutagenesis at consensus sites for the addition of N-linked glycosylation. These cDNAs were transfected into CHO cells with an expression vector and the subcellular distribution and stability of the expressed glycosylation-defective GLUT1 protein were analyzed. Immunohistochemical analysis with a specific antibody demonstrated that a significant portion of glycosylation-defective GLUT1 protein remained in the intracellular compartment. By contrast, most of the wild-type GLUT1 protein expressed with the same procedures resided in the plasma membranes. Metabolic labeling studies revealed that the half-life of the glycosylation-defective GLUT1 protein was significantly shorter than that of wild-type GLUT1 protein. These results indicate that N-glycosylation of the glucose transporter affects its intracellular targeting and protein stability.