Using immunohistochemistry and mass spectrometry, differentiation-dependent changes in the subcellular distribution and processing of aquaporin-0 (AQP0) have been mapped in the rat lens. Sections labelled with C-terminal tail AQP0 antibodies yielded two concentric rings of labelling with minimal signal in the lens core. The rings were separated by a transient zone of decreased labelling located prior to the transition of differentiating fiber (DF) cells into mature denucleated fiber (MF) cells. Mass spectrometry showed that the loss of core labelling was due to AQP0 cleavage, while the transient loss of labelling was more likely caused by masking of the antibody epitope. AQP0 subcellular distribution changed with radial distance into the lens. In peripheral DF cells, AQP0 was found throughout both broad and narrow side membranes. In deeper-lying DF cells, AQP0 aggregated into plaque-like structures located on the broad sides. This shift occurred prior to the transient loss of AQP0 signal, and coincided with formation of broad-side membrane invaginations between adjacent fiber cells to which filensin, a known binding partner of AQP0, was also localized. After nuclei loss, AQP0 was once again distributed throughout MF cell membranes. In the absence of protein synthesis, the observed subcellular redistribution of AQP0 in DF and subsequent cleavage of AQP0 in MF are suggestive of a switch in the function of AQP0 from a water channel to a junctional protein.