The p150,95 cell surface protein is a member of a family of heterodimeric leukocyte adhesion proteins that have homologous alpha subunits, each noncovalently associated with a common beta subunit. In this report we have metabolically labeled the U937 cell line at various timepoints during its phorbol myristic acetate-induced maturation to examine the kinetics of synthesis of these proteins during monocytic differentiation, and their maturation and glycosylation. The p150,95 alpha subunit was immunoprecipitated with p150,95-specific monoclonal antibody (MAb), or an antiserum to the denatured, purified alpha X subunit. The glycosylation and polypeptide chain length of the p150,95, Mac-1, and lymphocyte function associated antigen (LFA-1) alpha and beta subunits were compared by immunoprecipitation with subunit specific MAb and antisera, and by digestion with Endo H and N-glycanase. The p150,95 alpha subunit is synthesized as a precursor of 146,000 Mr, has five to six N-linked oligosaccharides, and has a polypeptide chain backbone of 132,000 Mr. Over 50% of the carbohydrate on the mature alpha subunit of 150,000 Mr was sensitive to Endo H digestion. The p150,95 alpha and beta precursors can associate before maturation into the mature form. Conversion to the mature form was accompanied by loss of reactivity with the antiserum to the denatured alpha X subunit, suggesting a change in conformation. Mac-1 and LFA-1 alpha subunits have precursors of 160,000 Mr and 165,000 Mr, respectively, and contain N-linked carbohydrates. The polypeptide chain length for the Mac-1 alpha subunit is 137,000 Mr, and for LFA-1 is 149,000 Mr. Only 14% of the oligosaccharide on the mature LFA-1 alpha subunit was sensitive to Endo H, suggesting that unlike p150,95, most is converted to the complex type. The differences noted in the Mr of the three homologous alpha subunits are therefore due to differences in both polypeptide chain length and carbohydrate processing during biosynthesis.