The segregation of human cathepsin D, studied in baby-hamster kidney cells (BHK) transfected with human cathepsin D cDNA and compared with that of hamster cathepsin D in the same cells, showed that, in cells that expressed human cathepsin D at a low rate, most of the enzyme remained intracellular. In contrast, when the enzyme was expressed at a high rate, most was secreted. The segregation was examined with an anti-(human cathepsin D) antibody that reacted with the human enzyme exclusively and an anti-(rat cathepsin D) antibody that reacted with both enzymes. In one protocol the cells were metabolically labelled and the two antibodies were used in sequence to precipitate the enzymes from extracts of cells and medium. High expression of the human enzyme did not interfere with the segregation of hamster cathepsin D. In another protocol the activity of cathepsin D in cells and medium was measured before and after titration with anti-(human cathepsin D) antiserum. Human cathepsin D was found predominantly in the medium, and hamster cathepsin D mainly in the cells. In the presence of 10 mM-NH4Cl the intracellular segregation of hamster cathepsin D was strongly inhibited, while the segregation of human cathepsin D was only slightly diminished. In BHK cells, at least two systems participate in the sorting of the two cathepsins, one of them being rather insensitive to NH4Cl.