We have studied the biosynthesis of the cation-dependent mannose 6-phosphate receptor in murine BW5147 lymphoma cells and MOPC 315 plasmacytoma cells. The cells were labeled with [35S]methionine or [2-3H]mannose and the receptor immunoprecipitated with an anti-receptor antiserum. The receptor was first detected as a glycoprotein with an apparent molecular mass of 40 kDa. This intermediate was rapidly processed to a mature form which was stable during 22 h of chase. In these cells, the mature receptor has an apparent molecular mass of 43 kDa. The 3-kDa increase occurs as a result of processing of Asn-linked high-mannose oligosaccharides to complex-type units.