The combined application of thin-section and critical-point-drying "fracture-label" is used to determine the pattern of distribution and partition of wheat-germ agglutinin and concanavalin A binding sites on the membrane faces of freeze-fractured exocrine and endocrine rat pancreatic cells. Whereas the exoplasmic face of plasma membrane is preferentially labeled by both lectins, the endoplasmic reticulum and nuclear envelope are strongly and uniformly labeled by concanavalin A but not by wheat-germ agglutinin. The results support current views in the glycosylation of membrane proteins and do not support the backflow of sialidated glycoproteins to the endoplasmic reticulum.

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