The proton nuclear magnetic resonance (1H-NMR) spectra of glycophorin and its tryptic sialoglycopeptides were investigated. From the intensities of the assigned resonances it was concluded that all of the residues in the sialoglycopeptides are sufficiently mobile in conformation to give sharp resonances, while in glycophorin this is true for only approximately 80% of the peptide backbone. The resonances of the central sequence of some 20 of the hydrophobic residues are strongly broadened. This region is probably that of alpha-helical structure which is known to aggregate. The linewidths and intensities of the resonances are not, or only slightly, affected by changing the ionic strength, temperature or by carboxymethylation of the Met-81 residue in glycophorin. Glycophorin was found to bind about 100 mol sodium dodecylsulphate/mol protein as derived from studies on linebroadening of the latter's C-3 to C-11 methylene resonances. The bound dodecyl-sulphate probably increases the mobilities of the hydrophobic residues in the protein as these resonance intensities are increased by the binding. The carbohydrate chains in glycophorin were conformationally mobile; no evidence was found for tight carbohydrate-protein interactions. The relevance of flexible carbohydrate chains in membrane glycoproteins is discussed in relation to cell surface chemistry.