Membrane glycoproteins have been studied in the normal lactating mammary gland and R3230 AC mammary tumor of the rat. Plasma membrane-enriched fractions were obtained from these tissues by discontinuous sucrose gradient centrifugation of a microsomal preparation from the tissue homogenates. The lightest membrane fractions (F-1 and F-2) have the greatest enrichment of plasma membrane markers, with a 14- to 20-fold purification of 5'-nucleotidase and Na+-K+ -adenosine triphosphatase over the homogenate values in both tumor and normal tissues for F-1. Electron microscopy shows smooth membrane vesicles for these fractions. Polypeptide analysis by acrylamide gel electrophoresis shows essentially the same patterns for F-1 and F-2 and only relatively minor differences between membrane components of tumor and normal tissues. Glycoprotein analysis of the polyacrylamide gels by periodate-Schiff staining indicates more dramatic differences. Membrane Fraction F-1 from normal tissue contains two major glycoproteins, GP-II and GP-III, while Fractions F-2 and F-3 contain an additional glycoprotein, GP-I, with a higher apparent molecular weight. In the tumor, the component corresponding to GP-III is decreased or absent and a new component GP-IV is seen at a lower apparent molecular weight.