Degradative rates of small basic non-glycosylated proteins are preferentially enhanced in rat liver cytosol during severe streptozotocin-induced diabetes. Synthetic rates of these classes of proteins are not selectively enhanced in diabetes, so small basic non-glycosylated proteins should be depleted from liver cytosol as a consequence of this disease. To test this hypothesis, proteins were analysed from normal animals, from diabetic animals receiving insulin and from diabetic animals after insulin withdrawal for 3 days. The proteins were separated according to subunit molecular weight by sodium dodecyl sulphate/polyacrylamide-gel electrophoresis, according to isoelectric point by isoelectric focusing and according to carbohydrate content by affinity chromatography with concanavalin A linked to agarose. Severe uncontrolled diabetes is associated with the predicted depletion of small basic non-glycosylated proteins from liver cytosol. The preferential degradation and loss of these protein classes may be of considerable physiological importance to the animal.