Sperm-surface glycopeptides were obtained from intact sperm membranes after proteolytic release by different enzymatic treatments such as autoproteolysis, trypsin, papain and pronase. Glycopeptides were isolated, their properties and composition were examined, and their monosaccharide and amino acid constituents were characterized. The monosaccharides identified were fucose, mannose, galactose, N-acetylglucosamine, and N-acetylgalactosamine, which form part of more than one type of oligosaccharide units. Autoproteolytic treatment mainly provided O-glycosidic type oligosaccharides, while a mixture of O- and N-glycosidic oligosaccharides was obtained in variable proportions when treated with trypsin, papain or pronase. The highest degree of peptide cleavage was obtained with pronase. Despite the higher yields reached with trypsin, these glycopeptides contain the lowest percentage of oligosaccharide chains. Proteolytic treatment provides a simple, rapid procedure for the isolation of glycopeptides from the sperm surface.