The GGAs (Golgi-localizing, γ-adaptin ear homology domain, ARF-binding) are a multidomain family of proteins implicated in protein trafficking between the Golgi and endosomes. Recent evidence has established that the cation-independent (CI) and cation-dependent (CD) mannose 6-phosphate receptors (MPRs) bind specifically to the VHS domains of the GGAs through acidic cluster-dileucine motifs at the carboxyl ends of their cytoplasmic tails. However, the CD-MPR binds the VHS domains more weakly than the CI-MPR. Alignment of the C-terminal residues of the two receptors revealed a number of non-conservative differences in the acidic cluster-dileucine motifs and the flanking residues. Mutation of these residues in the CD-MPR cytoplasmic tail to the corresponding residues in the CI-MPR conferred either full binding (H63D mutant), intermediate binding (R60S), or unchanged binding (E56F/S57H) to the GGAs as determined by in vitro glutathione S-transferase pulldown assays. Furthermore, the C-terminal methionine of the CD-MPR, but not the C-terminal valine of the CI-MPR, inhibited GGA binding. Addition of four alanines to the C-terminal valine of the CI-MPR also severely reduced GGA binding, demonstrating the importance of the spacing of the acidic cluster-dileucine motif relative to the C terminus for optimal GGA interaction. Mouse L cells stably expressing CD-MPRs with mutations that enhance GGA binding sorted cathepsin D more efficiently than wild-type CD-MPR. These studies provide an explanation for the observed differences in the relative affinities of the two MPRs for the GGA proteins. Furthermore, they indicate that the GGAs participate in lysosomal enzyme sorting mediated by the CD-MPR.