Human blood group O plasma was found to contain an N-acetylgalactosaminyltransferase which catalyzes the transfer of N-acetylgalactosamine from UDP-GalNAc to Gal beta 1-->4Glc, Gal beta 1-->4GlcNAc, asialo-alpha 1-acid glycoprotein, and Gal beta 1-->4GlcNAc beta 1-->3Gal beta 1-->4Glc-ceramide, but not to Gal beta 1-->3GlcNAc. The enzyme required Mn2+ for its activity and showed a pH optimum at 7.0. The reaction products were readily hydrolyzed by beta-N-acetylhexosaminidase and released N-acetylgalactosamine. Apparent Km values for UDP-GalNAc, Mn2+, lactose, N-acetyllactosamine, and terminal N-acetyllactosaminyl residues of asialo-alpha 1-acid glycoprotein were 0.64, 0.28, 69, 20, and 1.5 mM, respectively. Studies on acceptor substrate competition indicated that all the acceptor substrates mentioned above compete for one enzyme, whereas the enzyme can be distinguished from an NeuAc alpha 2-->3Gal beta-1,4-N-acetylgalactosaminyltransferase, which also occurs in human plasma. The methylation study of the product formed by the transfer of N-acetylgalactosamine to lactose revealed that N-acetylgalactosamine had been transferred to the carbon-3 position of the beta-galactosyl residue. Although the GalNAc beta 1-->3Gal structure is known to have the blood group P antigen activity, human plasma showed no detectable activity of Gal alpha 1-->4Gal beta-1,3-N-acetylgalactosaminyltransferase, which is involved in the synthesis of the major P antigen-active glycolipid, GalNAc beta 1-->3Gal alpha 1-->4Gal beta 1-->4Glc-ceramide. Hence, the GalNAc beta 1-->3Gal beta 1-->4GlcNAc/Glc structure is synthesized by the novel Gal beta 1-->4GlcNAc/Glc beta-1,3-N-acetylgalactosaminyltransferase.