A photoreactive, radioiodinated derivative of glucose, N-(4-iodoazidosalicyl)-6-amido-6-deoxyglucopyranose (IASA-glc), has been synthesized and used as a photoaffinity label for the human erythrocyte monosaccharide transporter. Photoinactivation and photoinsertion are both light-dependent and result in a marked decrease in the absorption spectra of the compound. When [125I]IASA-glc was photolyzed with erythrocyte ghost membranes, photoinsertion of radiolabel was observed in three major regions, spectrin, band 3, and a protein of 58,000 daltons located in the zone 4.5 region. Of the three regions which were photolabeled, only labeling of polypeptides in the zone 4.5 region was partially blocked by D-glucose. In the non-iodinated form, N-(4-azidosalicyl)-6-amido-6-deoxy-glucopyranose inhibited the labeling of the transporter by [125I]IASA-glc more effectively than D-glucose. The ability to synthesize this [125I]containing photoprobe for the monosaccharide transporter at carrier-free levels offers several new advantages for investigating the structure of this transport protein in the erythrocyte.