1. In mammary gland explants subjected to experimental manipulation, average rates (during 24 h periods) of degradation of fatty acid synthase, casein and cytosol-fraction proteins were measured by a double-isotope method. Rates of degradation of fatty acid synthase were also computed from measurements of changing enzyme amount and rate of synthesis. 2. During the period of most rapid enzyme accumulation there is a transient decrease in the computed rate of degradation of fatty acid synthase. Removal of hormones produces a rapid increase in the computed rate of degradation of the enzyme. 3. The average rate of degradation of fatty acid synthase measured by the double-isotope method is low in the presence of hormones, and increases on hormone removal. This increase in degradation rate is inhibited by adrenaline and further blocked by insulin. NH4Cl (10 mM) also partially inhibits the increase in protein degradation on hormone removal. 4. The pattern of changes in the average rate of degradation of cytosol-fraction proteins is similar to that for fatty acid synthase alone. There is no relationship between subunit molecular weight and rate of degradation under all experimental conditions. 5. Isotope ratios for resolved cytosol protein mixtures are transformed logarithmically to make the standard deviations an estimate of heterogeneity of degradation rates. By this analysis, in some conditions there appears to be significant measureable heterogeneity of degradation rates. 6. Little degradation of casein is measured in the presence of hormones, but a marked increase in the rate of degradation can be measured when hormones are removed. Whereas at 24-48h NH4Cl (10 mM) has little effect on this enhanced rate of degradation, at 48-72h it causes a large decrease in degradation rate. 7. Results are discussed in terms of a two-component degradation system in mammary gland explants.