The secretory glycoproteins synthesized by hepatoma tissue culture (HTC) cells were resolved by two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis of media from cells that were grown in the presence of [(3)H]fucose. These cells synthesize and secrete a complex set of fucose-containing glycoproteins. These secretory glycoproteins are distinct from those glycoproteins present in the plasma membrane of HTC cells. Incubation of HTC cells with dexamethasone has a pronounced effect on the quality and quantity (denoted here as the program) of secretory protein synthesis, as assayed by the short-term incorporation of labeled mannose, fucose, or methionine. The synthesis of two mannose- and fucose- containing glycoprotein series, one of 50,000 mol wt and a more heterogeneous series with mol wt of 35,000-50,000, is increased to a high level by the hormone; conversely, the synthesis of other secretory proteins, particularly one with mol wt of 70,000, is decreased or stopped completely. The synthesis of some major secretory proteins is not affected by the hormone. Dexamethasone has less of an effect on the composition of either total cell membrane glycoprotein or plasma membrane glycoprotein. But there is a decrease in the synthesis of a major membrane glycoprotein series with mol wt of 140,000. These effects of dexamethasone are relatively specific to HTC cells. Neither Reuber H-35 cells nor primary cultures of rat hepatocytes show the same response to the steroid. Two variant HTC cell lines, which were selected for their resistance to dexamethasone inhibition of extracellular plasminogen activator activity, respond only partially to the steroid-induced regulation of the secretory and membrane glycoproteins.

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