Cells of the 315LV-1 (derived from NP1) variant line of MOPC 315 contain approximately 1% the normal intracellular level of the heavy (alpha) chain of IgA and no detectable light (lambda2) chain. The synthesis rate of alpha-chain in the variant, however, is similar to that in cells of the parent line. Moreover the relative amount of translatable alpha-chain mRNA that can be extracted from 315LV-1 cells is about the same as for parental cells. No light-chain synthesis can be detected either in vivo or in vitro in a wheat germ cell-free system. The 315LV-1 heavy chain synthesized in vivo or in vitro has slightly greater electrophoretic mobility than normal H chain and turns over rapidly intracellularly. The variant fails to secrete any of its heavy chain, despite the fact that its H chain mRNA is bound to membranes, as one would expect for a secretory protein message. Fusion of 315LV-1 cells with cells of a kappa-producing MPC 11 variant line leads to stabilization of the intracellular H chain and also to full recovery of secretion of the H chain as an H2L2 molecule.