Incubation of rat hepatocytes with glucose induces the translocation of glycogen synthase from soluble fractions to fractions which sediment at 10000g. Incubation of the cells with fructose, galactose, 2-deoxyglucose or 5-thioglucose, which activate glycogen synthase, also resulted in the translocation of the enzyme, whereas 3-O-methylglucose, 6-deoxyglucose and 1,5-anhydroglucitol, which do not cause the activation of the enzyme, were ineffective. Adenosine and carbonyl cyanide m-chlorophenylhydrazone, although activating glycogen synthase, did not induce its translocation. Mannoheptulose, which inhibits glucose phosphorylation, impaired the translocation of glycogen synthase induced by glucose. Furthermore, the extent of the translocation of the enzyme triggered by glucose and other sugars showed a high positive correlation with the intracellular concentration of glucose 6-phosphate. Microcystin, which blocks the activation of glycogen synthase by glucose, but not the accumulation of glucose 6-phosphate, did not affect the translocation of the enzyme. These results indicate that glucose 6-phosphate plays a role in the translocation of glycogen synthase in rat hepatocytes.