Xenopus laevis oocytes possess a glucose transport system that is activated 3- to 5-fold by insulin-like growth factor I (Ka = 3 nM) and insulin (Ka = 200-250 nM), properties suggesting activation mediated by an insulin-like growth factor I receptor. This activation increases the Vmax of hexose uptake and has little or no effect on the Km for deoxyglucose (Km = 1-2 mM). Activation by hormone requires about 60 min and is inhibited by cytochalasin B but not by cycloheximide. The dependence of hexose uptake rate on hexose concentration exhibits cooperativity with Hill coefficients of 1.8 and 1.4 for the basal and hormone-activated states, respectively. Microinjection of a monoclonal antibody directed against the tyrosine kinase domain of the human insulin receptor blocks activation of hexose uptake by insulin-like growth factor I and insulin but has no effect on basal uptake. Taken together the results implicate the tyrosine-specific protein kinase activity of a cell-surface insulin-like growth factor I receptor in the activation of glucose transport in the Xenopus oocyte.