In the polarized kidney cell line MDCK, the influenza virus hemagglutinin (HA) has been well characterized as a model for apically sorted membrane glycoproteins. Previous work from our laboratory has shown that a single amino acid change in the cytoplasmic sequence of HA converts it from a protein that is excluded from coated pits to one that is efficiently internalized. Using trypsin or antibodies to mark protein on the surface, we have shown in MDCK cells that HA containing this mutation is no longer transported to the apical surface but instead is delivered directly to the basolateral plasma membrane. We propose that a cytoplasmic feature similar to an endocytosis signal can cause exclusive basolateral delivery.